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