The Bucks completed a trade late Tuesday afternoon to acquire forward Corey Maggette from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Charlie Bell and center Dan Gadzuric, according to basketball sources.
Gardner has since updated his post to include the Bucks receiving the Warriors 44th pick in Thursday’s draft.
I addressed some of the pluses and minuses of the hypothetical deal that’s suddenly turned very real earlier in my post about a few Bucks rumors. As is the case with many deals in the NBA, this one is financially motivated from the Warriors perspective. Here’s the table I had in my first post which breaks down the three players respective contracts.
[table id=19 /]
The eye popping number here is that the Bucks are taking back a contract that has $30,786,207 left on it over three years. However, they’re shipping out contracts that add up to $15,199,685. This leaves the Bucks on the hook for an additional $15,586,522.
The question now is, with regard to their roster now and for the rest of the summer, where does this leave the Bucks?
Well, a friend of mine texted me minutes after the deal was made to let me know he’d heard Maggette already took 10 shots. He failed to mention that he attempted six free throws too.
All kidding aside, it certainly now seems difficult to envision John Salmons returning to Milwaukee. The reported $28 million that was being offered to Salmons to spend his next four seasons in Milwaukee will now likely be the money sitting in the future pants pockets of Maggette. But the Bucks are freeing up an additional $1.5 million this off-season which seems like it could fall into the hands of Luke Ridnour, someone the Bucks have said they absolutely want back.
As far as Maggette’s role with the Bucks, it seems like something that could fluctuate.
If Brandon Jennings shows up in October looking like the star that it seemed he was certain to be last November, Maggette won’t be this season’s John Salmons. He’ll be running with Jennings, picking up the slack when the offense is stalling and playing a secondary role to Jennings and Andrew Bogut. But if Jennings is still struggling with an inconsistent jump shot and inability to finish inside the paint, Maggette’s role grows. He’ll be more heavily relied on for offense and Jennings, who always says passing is his first love anyway, will be feeding the beast that is Offensive Corey Maggette. And that’s not an awful thing. Maggette was 17th in the NBA last season in points per possession out of isolations according to Synergy Sports. The question that hangs over Maggette like a thunderstorm cloud is whether or not he’ll be able to fit inside an offense that (sometimes unsuccessfully) prided itself on its balance last season. Will he be able to survive and thrive while keeping teammates happy? For now, all we can say is we’ll see.
But here in Milwaukee, one gets the sense that Coach Scott Skiles would bench Wilt Chamberlin himself if he didn’t feel like he was cutting it on the defensive end. So regardless of what’s going on offensively with Maggette, it’s crucial for him to hold up defensively if he wants to earn time. And this is where he may struggle. I don’t know for a fact whether or not Maggette is a good or bad defender, numbers alone can’t tell you that. And in playing in the chaos that was Don Nelson’s system in which he was occasionally a center, sometimes a power forward and always without much help, numbers suffer. But his numbers didn’t hold a candle to Milwaukee’s primary small forward last season Carlos Delfino. Against Delfino last season, opponents shot 38.8%. Against Maggette they shot 46.6%. Their respective defensive ratings were 103 and 113 and if you’re into win shares, Delfino had 3.7 defensive win shares last season while Maggette had just .7.
Some suggested that Delfino’s versatility and defense were a quietly huge factor in the Bucks success last season. When I spoke with Dave Berri last season, his numbers suggested that after Andrew Bogut, Delfino had played better than any other Bucks player. Replacing the majority of his minutes with Maggette’s, if that’s what the Bucks will be doing, could prove detrimental from a defensive and “little things” standpoint. But since Maggette is essentially sliding into John Salmons’ roster spot (assuming that’s the case) it’s possible that Delfino could be shifting down to the two guard position, leaving the Bucks less susceptible to losing that production.
At this point, there are a ton of questions to still be answered with regard to this trade and very few of them will actually be answered until next season is well underway. I urge everyone to refrain from overreacting. The Bucks 2010-11 season is not over yet, it’s not a championship and there is still a lot of time left this off-season for the roster to take a new shape. Maggette may not have been a good fit in terms of producing wins and playoff appearances in Los Angeles or Golden State, but we aren’t exactly talking about model organizations there. Perhaps this is just the sort of trade Maggette’s needed to jump start his career and turn him from proverbial loser that puts up numbers, to an important part of a winning team. See Randolph, Zach last season (and ignore the recent drug lord stuff). This certainly may shift Milwaukee’s emphasis further into power forward territory come June 24th’s draft, but as we saw a few years ago with Joe Alexander’s arrival immediately after Richard Jefferson’s, this could have no impact at all on the draft.
Either way, thing have certainly gotten more interesting in Milwaukee today.