Group Dynamics: Discussing Off-Season Priorities Part 2

Ian

I’d like to add another name to your list: OJ Mayo. As the Grizzlies reduced his role, Mayo became a better creator. He was particularly adept at throwing sweet alley-oops to Darrell Arthur. Mayo’s not the best at getting into the paint, but he’d immediately become one of the best shooters and athletes on the team. He’s also good enough and hungry enough to push Salmons. I don’t buy the media narrative that Mayo has found peace with his role on the Grizzlies. He lost his starting spot to Tony Allen who also beat him up. Talk about awkward. Memphis tried to deal him earlier and there’s still a deal out there to get Mayo.

I don’t think there’s a deal to get Evan Turner. The Sixers seem to be trying to build around a young core. As for JR Smith, there’s a difference between being on the roster and getting playing time. Smith is the exact kind of player I see having trouble getting player time under Skiles.

The major issue that we haven’t talked about yet, is the expiration of the CBA. With a possible lockout, the Bucks may be looking at a minimal number of options to improve the team during the offseason. So the only way to fill holes in the team might just be through the draft. Assuming that the lottery falls the way it should, Alec Burks is likely coming to the Bucks. Right now, he’s all upside, so my worry is that he’ll have trouble getting the minutes he’ll need to develop a la Larry Sanders this year.

Josh

If we fans really want to see the Bucks succeed and step away from the cycle of mediocrity that has plagued the organization since the run to the Eastern Conference Finals, I think the team needs to aspire for something better than OJ Mayo.

Mayo was an intriguing prospect, but he’s proven that he is nothing more than a role player at this point.  While he put up an average of 18 points per game over his first two seasons, there’s a reason he lost his starting job to Tony Allen. He scores and that’s about it. He’s never averaged more than 3.2 assists or 3.8 rebounds per game. Do the Bucks really need a poor man’s Michael Redd at this point?

As far as finding help in the draft, I think it is a huge jump to say Alec Burks is likely heading to Milwaukee. While Draftexpress.com has Burks landing with the Bucks, I just can’t see a player of his caliber and potential falling to pick 10 with so many predicted top 10 picks returning to school.

Although this may be slightly hypocritical because several mock drafts have him going before the Bucks’ pick, I think the team needs to take a long look at Enes Kanter. It’s clear the team can’t go into next season with Jon Brockman and Larry Sanders as the primary backups behind Andrew Bogut.

Kanter is not the most athletic guy out there, but he is polished. He already has a nice arsenal of post moves and knows how to use his body around the basket. I think he will be ready to step in and get big minutes at the PF and C spots immediately.

Jeremy

So what say we?  It looks like this meeting of the minds has created a few priorities:

Shooting Guard
Backup Center
A player that can score points in a way that isn’t so painful to watch

Backup point guard is a spot that people have bantered back and forth about.  I’m torn on it.  I see the value in Keyon Dooling as a defender and as a rah-rah guy, but if he can’t shoot better than 40% from the field and 35% from deep, he probably isn’t the right fit.

Is the right fit out there though?  I’m not sure. What I am sure of, is that Dooling is a lock down defender.  He’ll always be undervalued on that side of the ball, but if Milwaukee re-enters the playoffs next season, I think he could be incredibly useful against the Rondos and Roses of the world.

Perhaps an upgrade of the third point guard spot is in order and a continuance of Dooling as a combo guard would work.  Boykins was great, but if Milwaukee had a third point guard that was actually a second point guard, it would allow them more flexibility with Dooling.  He’d stay and Milwaukee could have a shooter.  Win and win.

If only it were that easy.

With that in mind, my off-season priority list:

Athletic scoring wing
Backup center
Backup point guard
Leadership type

Ian

My priority list:

Athletic or solid shooting wing
Backup point guard
Backup big man

I put the priority of backup point guard over center because of depth. The Bucks can survive next year without another big man. Between Andrew Bogut, Drew Gooden, Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Mbah a Moute (assuming he is brought back), the team can throw out a number of combinations at the 4 and 5. There isn’t much room up front. I don’t count Brockman because he was still the 13th man on the team in terms of minutes played. A lot of his playing time came out of necessity. If Gooden is able to give twice the number of games he gave last year, then Brockman will see far less than the 677 minutes he played last season. Basically, Brockman should be a non-issue next year and take a more traditional Mark Madsen role on the team and I’m confident he can do that.

But the backcourt currently only sports John Salmons, Dooling and Brandon Jennings. A second unit where Skiles goes with his two point guard lineup and plays Dooling at the 2 with the human firecracker Goran Dragic as the 1 is my favorite option for a Bucks free agent pickup. So here’s hoping the Rockets don’t pickup that team option.

But to fill all the other positions, I’d opt to build through the draft. If you don’t believe Alec Burks will there for the Bucks, then Kawhi Leonard and Terrence Jones can take the swing spot. They’re both versatile, but in different ways. Leonard can guard multiple positions. Jones’s offensive game is more varied.

As for leadership, it’s getting to be about that time that Jennings or Bogut really bring that to the team.

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Categories: The Off Season

I watch the Milwaukee Bucks often and write about what I see…

18 Comments

  1. I agree with Ian on pretty much everything here. If the Bucks can get Dragic by some miracle that is a game changer in my opinion. I love watching him play, haven’t seen him in Houston much but when he was on the suns he’d tear stuff up. Also forget about Burks and that Enes guy. You don’t draft a back-up in the lottery, and if you think Burks is a starter so be it but I don’t see it. Jones would be a godsend and Leonard would be a good addition too. Plug one of those guys in at the three, move Delfino to the 2 and you’re set to be pretty average which is all the bucks can hope for at this point. keep up the good work.

  2. @Ty
    Here’s the thing: this is a shallow draft. And where the Bucks are slated to be in the lottery, they may very well have to draft a backup. If we take the assumption, talent comes in waves, to be true, then we can’t hold to the dogmatic: You have to draft a starter in the lottery.

  3. @Ty

    I don’t see either Burks or Kanter as career backups. I think the Bucks can draft either with the knowledge they will be starters, if not right away, only a season or two into their careers. I may have undersold Kanter a little bit in my comments. I think he can contend for the PF position right off the bat, all while providing backup C minutes.

    I’m also not at all interested in Terrance Jones. From what I saw of him at Kentucky, I don’t think he has the mindset to be a long-term starter in the NBA. Also, Calipari called the guy selfish, I didn’t think Cal was capable of saying that to any player.

  4. @Josh
    I’d love to get him too. I’d even be a fan of trading up for him (as long as they don’t have to give up two first round picks). We have plenty of depth. Now we need more talent.

  5. Re-sign redd, and if his knee holds up he can be lightning. ship off brockman and sanders for a 3rd point. sanders has too bad of form to be a jump shooter like he wants, and flails too much in the paint to be good either. I think leonard is too much like mbah a moute to draft, but kanter (if hes around) or Terrance Jones will be great. Maybe

  6. I really do like Alec Burks. He can score a number of different ways, but that is probably why he won’t make it o 10 once he starts working out. I really like a guy no one is talking about. That man is Donatas Motiejunas. He looks like the next Pau Gasol.

  7. Larry sanders has the potential to be the next Shawn kemp. I would utilize him. Bucks need new coach (not to mention management)…

  8. Senior Cabinet

    No no no to OJ Mayo, his attitude is far too selfish (see college scandal, and the reason why tony allen knocked him the F^%k out) no to another corey magette personality.

    No to terrence jones, tremednous talent but too much like a poor mans micheale beasly and too close to Charlie V and Yi Jianlion for my liking.

    Noway Enes Kanter is falling to 10, nbadraft see him as a smiliar player to bogut, dont make me laugh, 2 inches shorter and a whole lot less athletisicm, not worth a top 3 pick though

    Draft, Jimmer we need all the (good) three point shooting we can get, at pick 10 its worth the risk, we dont need an undersized power forward (we have too many) or a flaky three point shooting big man who cant rebound and block shots.

    Dump: Kenyon, CDR, Earl (sorry but age and all), Redd, Corey

    I like the idea of Goran Dragic (PG), Carl Landry (PF), Marcus Thorton (SG), Jason Smith(C)/Spencer Hawes (C) but PF is too stacked (not in a good way either, damn u Gooden)

    Maybe the following (at the right price) glen davis, K-Mart, Joel Pryzibilla,Ronny Tuiaf

    Ideally
    PG Jennings/Dragic
    SG Thorton/Salmons/Jimmer
    SF Delfino/Mbah
    PF Gooden/Ilyasova/Brockman
    C Bogut/Sanders/Hawes

  9. Seriously, the way it’s looking, the Bucks should see what they can get for the draft pick. As has been stated before on this blog, this draft only features positions the Bucks are already set at, shooting guard and PF. See what other teams, the Cavs come to mind, will offer for the pick and maybe we can dump a contract or at least get someone usable. I can see a sign-and-trade working with either Thornton or Dragic for the pick.

    @Senior Cabinet: Let’s allow everyone else to deal with Jimmer. Skiles would never let him play because of how poor his defense is and we already have Salmons, Jennings, and Delfino shooting long jumpers, we don’t need Jimmer doing the same thing.

  10. @Josh II

    Traditionally, bad teams aren’t in the market to take bad contracts. Yet, there are always teams that are a piece away with a terrible GM that may gamble with a bad contract (i.e. The Orland Magic this year and Gilbert Arenas).

    @Senior Cabinet

    Marcus Thorton is not that good. As for Jimmer, he’s the exact type of player that would be a great change of pace guy coming off the bench for a championship contender. A team of the Bucks quality can’t afford to grab him.

    As for OJ, never give up on two things: young point guards and talented headcases. You never know what the right change of scenery can do for a guy.

  11. @Ian
    I guess I was thinking more of the Jazz who have a gaping whole at the 2 and 3 spot with AK47 leaving, Raja Bell hurt and/or ineffective, and Gordon Hayward needing a veteran voice. I see John Salmons working very well in Utah.

    I do want to say this on the Orlando Magic in defense of Otis Smith:

    Rashard Lewis ended up missing the last month or so of the season due to bad knees. The Magic knew this and traded him for Arenas, who they thought could help them more than a chronically hurting Lewis.
    Vince Carter played terribly in Phoenix and Mickael Pietrus was glued to the end of the bench for most of his time in Phoenix. The only piece they really lost was Marcin Gortat. Overall, Otis Smith made the right move. Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark for Vince (played horribly), Rashard Lewis (out for season), Pietrus (bad), and Marcin Gortat was a great trade for the Magic.

    In the end, everyone else got better and they just didn’t keep up. Had they not done the trades, they would have ended up in fifth of sixth.

  12. The bucks need to go after Wilson chandler….A dominant SF who can take it to the rim. Delfino is awful at everything except 3’s. 38% from inside the Arc aint going to cut in the NBA. O.J Mayo would be a great motivator to John Salmons. Get Dragic if the Rockets dont pick-up the option. And Draft a PF who can play the Center position as well. Larry Sanders will be huge in 3 years if not sooner. Trade Corey Magette and Drew Gooden on Draft day to try and get some more picks or maybe a strong veteran. Jeff Green is also a Free Agent so they should attempt to sign him a 4 who can hit the 3 would be great for the bucks. I believe brockman next year will be able to handle a 3 spot at the center very productivly. GO BUCKS!

  13. @Senior Cabinet
    Whoa whoa whoa here you have Thorton starting over Salmons, The bucks didnt not give him 5 years 40mil to come off the bench, no way. Absolutly not going to happen.

  14. Man, I like that you guys are willing to go international, but you are looking at the wrong Lithuanian. Donatus Motiejunas will be a beast and he is much more likely to fall into our range.