The Last Puzzle Piece: A Backup Point Guard for the Bucks

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.


Allen Iverson

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

Raymond Felton
Jordan Farmar
Derek Fisher
Nate Robinson
Randy Foye
Earl Watson
Jason Williams

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

Mardy Collins
Javaris Crittenton
Acie Law
Chris Quinn
Jamaal Tinsley
Rafer Alston
Marcus Williams
Mario West

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

Carlos Arroyo
Travis Diener
Anthony Johnson
Anthony Carter
Shaun Livingston
Royal Ivey

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.

Jannero Pargo
Luther Head
Eddie House
Earl Boykins

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.

Categories: The Off Season

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    • Jeremy Schmidt

      Group three was asking too many questions, had to be eliminated. Nothing to see here, move along.

  1. i’d like Diener or If they could get Rookie Trevon Hughes. Both played in Wiscosin in College so fans would love them and there both pretty good. Dieners a great 3 shooter

    • Diener would be ok, he’s played in the league and has good numbers as mentioned about in Assist/TO ratio. Trevon Hughes was an over-hyped ball hog who made a couple big shots in his career. I’d like to see Bohannon on a NBA roster before Hughes.

  2. Diener would be just fine if we also can sign Ivey. That would give us 2 very different backup PG looks to use as matchups dictate, plus if Jennings gets hurt, say for a month or something, we don’t have to trade Luc or Ersan for a PG as a desperation move since we’ll have 2 vets with 2 different styles already on the roster.

  3. I agree Diener would be a nice addition IF you get ivey too… but i have a feeling that luke(ridnour) will come back if there is a trade involving michael redd, now dont get me wrong i love mike but i dont think we signed salmons to come off the bench and mike being as humble as he is wouldint like the idea of coming off the bench. That being said i think that our bucks are going to try to free up money for luke (ridnour) and get a back up 2 gard in return, BUT! if luke dose decide to skip town i think that carlos arroyo would be a very solid back up, that being because he seems to me to have a very solid understanding of the game, he’s played against and with all stars, and also at the international level with puerto rico wich is a good fit with the bucks being that we have several international players so he’ll understand there mentality. OH! and about iverson….. THERES IS NO WAY HE’S COMING HERE! reason being that he’s looking at miami like a dog next to a dinner table waiting for scraps, at this point i think he’ll take 100 dollars and a stick of bubble gum just to play for miami to try to get a ring………. well thats all from me and GO BUCKS!

  4. Pat and Terry Cummings

    What about CJ Watson? Very respectable numbers, young and improving. I believe he is a restricted free agent.

  5. What about Patty Mills? There are serious doubts he’ll be back at Portland this year, and he has good experience playing with Bogut. But then i guess we’d have two very young PG’s and not a lot of experience backing them up….
    Still, i reckon he’d be a handy addition….cheap too.