The Milwaukee Bucks are now prepared for a potential Andrew Bogut injury.
Better late than never, I suppose.
The Journal-Sentinel is reporting that Joel Przybilla has agreed to a one-year contract with the Bucks. The 32-year-old center returns to the team that traded for him on draft night in 2000. Przybilla played in 27 games for the Portland Trail Blazers last season, averaging 16.6 minutes, 2 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Jokes about Milwaukee’s inability to land a backup center for the past two seasons aside, Przybilla is still a serviceable backup, capable of a strong 10-15 minutes two or three nights a week. While I’m sure many would love to see John Henson gobbling up any extra front court minutes available, he’s probably not physically ready for the punishment some centers in the NBA, even the bad ones, can dish out. Pyrzbilla puts another body between the biggest of the big guys and some of the Bucks younger forwards like Henson.
He’ll likely slide into the primary backup center role, which should allow Drew Gooden to operate much more exclusively at the power forward position this season, after Gooden spent nearly all of last season masquerading as a center with mixed results.
Przybilla’s addition to an already crowded Milwaukee front court could squeeze the minutes of some of Milwaukee’s younger bigs. Between the power forward and center positions, Milwaukee now has Przybilla, Gooden, Samuel Dalembert, Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, Henson and Ersan Ilyasova. Dalembert and Ilyasova are safe choices for starters come opening day, with Gooden likely in line for the majority of the power forward minutes off the bench. Given his advanced age, Przybilla might be willing to take on a lesser role earlier in the season as he saves himself for the stretch run, which could allow Udoh and Henson some up front minutes at both the center position in addition to the power forward spot.
Of course, the Bucks’ forward/center depth fuels fans ideas that Milwaukee may trade one of their bigs for some additional guard or wing depth. Jodie Meeks recently said the Bucks were on of the teams interested in his services and the team has been tied to Randy Foye, C.J. Miles and Kirk Hinrich, but failed to land any guard or wing thus far.
Sanders seems the most likely candidate for departure, though it’s hard to envision the Bucks getting a serviceable guard for a team looking to contend for the playoffs for him alone. If he isn’t traded, Sanders does seem in line yet again for the fewest minutes among the members of the Bucks front court. The third-year veteran watched rookie John Henson turn heads in Summer League, but failed to do much impressing himself.
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter.