In yesterday’s post regarding the importance of the Bucks holding on to Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, I mentioned that it seemed within reason that Milwaukee would trade one of them for someone who could play backup point guard. Obviously, this didn’t excite many. Personally, I think that would be a disaster and it’s hopefully a far fetched premise. But that doesn’t change the fact that the backup point guard position needs to be addressed before the off season ends.
The “before the off season ends” caveat does allow lots of time, mind you. We haven’t even started the Vegas Summer League yet and next season doesn’t start for four more months. So Milwaukee has plenty of time to poke around, kick tires and generally explore numerous options for their backup point guard next season.
And there seems to be options-a-plenty on the free agent market.
As I’m one to do, I’ve categorized the available free agent point guards in a variety of ways. I’ve grouped together players that I deem as realistic options for Milwaukee and others that won’t end up here due to monetary or playing time demands. I also made a special category for Allen Iverson.
Group One: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO
See. AI was long my favorite player and a book chronicling Iverson’s journey “Only the Strong Survive” by Larry Platt, is one of my favorites. But not here, not now. The reasons are as obvious as they are plentiful.
Group Two: Too Much Money Required or Too Many Minutes Necessary
Each one of these seven is looking to either become a starter, already is a starter or requires too much money. Obviously Felton, Farmar, Fisher and Robinson are looking for big time minutes or a starting spot. Fisher won’t be leaving the Lakers, Felton at one point had an offer of $10 million per year on the table and mysteriously did not accept it. Farmar made lots of noise about starting in leaving the Lakers and Robinson probably played his way into a larger offer during his decent playoff run.
Watson may be looking at backup minutes and money, but it still may be more than what the Bucks are interested in offering. He was no worse than Chris Duhon the last few years and Duhon just cashed in to the tune of $15 million.
Group Three: The Malcontents and Guys I Didn’t Know Were Still In the League Group
Can you even imagine Skip or Jamaal Tinsley ever playing for the Scott Skiles? Yikes. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for those practices. Crittenton is probably a year or two from getting back in the good graces of the NBA, Williams inconsistencies have outweighed his positives and Collins isn’t good. West was grabbed off the scrap heap by Atlanta last year, but doesn’t seem destined for a job elsewhere. Quinn and Law are the least known of the bunch and could conceivably offer the most return on a minimal investment. But if they haven’t proven anything yet, what are the odds they’ll turn into players?
Group Four: Possibilities Abound
The Bucks have reportedly already been in talks with Diener to the surprise of many. He’s never been thought of as much of a defender, but he has 432 career assists to just 99 career turnovers. That’s solid. Plus Diener’s an okay 3-point shooter. Livingston offers unique length at the point guard position, but he may still struggle to stay in front of quicker guards, something that won’t fly. In Milwaukee, “you are what you can defend.” Still, Livingston had a strong comeback season in Washington last year after arriving there more than halfway through the year. He’s always been a high IQ player and may not demand a ton of minutes. The Anthony’s are typical “safe” veteran point guards and seem like solid fits much in the same way Royal Ivey would be.
Group Five: Please Stop Masquerading As Point Guards. Thank You.
Of the group, Boykins is the best player. He torched the Bucks last year, something that may still be fresh in the mind of the front office. The rest of the group amounts to little more than offensive sparks off the bench, which doesn’t seem up the Bucks alley.
When it’s all said and done, I still think Ivey has the leg up on the competition here. He spent time in the Bucks system last year and has always had the reputation as a capable defender. The more I think about it the more it seems like there was more to that Jodie Meeks trade last season. It seemed at the time like Milwaukee was just hitting the reset button on the Meeks pick and grabbing an extra big for the rest of the season in Primoz Brezec. But now I’m thinking the throw in of Ivey meant more.
Perhaps Milwaukee realized that Luke Ridnour was pricing himself out of their range with his terrific season backing up Brandon Jennings and wanted to be ahead of the curve in addressing their backup situation by grabbing Ivey. John Hammond mentioned several times that he thought Ivey may be able to stick around and now he’s in a position to do just that. The odds probably currently favor Ivey and if that’s the way things went down, the Bucks could probably do worse.