The theme of this Milwaukee Bucks off season has been old faces and second round draft picks. So the three team deal Milwaukee participated in officially on Thursday night fits in just fine. Per the Bucks PR Department:
The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired veteran guard Luke Ridnour (6-2, 175) as part of a three-team deal involving the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder, General Manager John Hammond announced today. The Bucks also received a 2014 second round draft pick from Minnesota (via the Los Angeles Lakers) and cash considerations from Oklahoma City as part of the trade, while the Thunder signed Kevin Martin to a contract and traded him to the Timberwolves along with cash considerations. Milwaukee sent the draft rights to 2003 second round pick Szymon Szewczyk (35th overall) to Oklahoma City to complete the deal.
So for the rights to Szymon Szewczyk, Milwaukee received the Lakers second round pick in the upcoming draft and a backup point guard who slides nicely into Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s salary cap space. Ridnour is due $4.3 million next season, a little less than the $4.6 million Mbah a Moute was owed. The Mbah a Moute trade has yet to be made official, but should be within the week.
The Bucks now hold their own first and second round picks, the Lakers’ second round pick and the Raptor’s (via Suns) second round pick in the 2014 draft.
Ridnour will likely fill the role of primary backup point guard for the Bucks, unless things go terrible awry with Jeff Teague and/or Brandon Jennings. Milwaukee officially signed Teague to an offer sheet late Wednesday evening, which the Atlanta Hawks have 72 hours to match before losing Teague to Milwaukee. As of now, Jennings’ free agent rights are still held by Milwaukee, per the qualifying offer he was offered at the start of free agency. If the Hawks match the offer to Teague, it’s unknown how Milwaukee will handle things with Jennings.
Either way, Ridnour provides character, reliability and general professionalism in the locker room. He’s regarded as one of the harder workers the Bucks have had in recent years, no better exemplified than by his habit of heading back out onto the floor after games to get some more shots up in 2009-10. He did this all season long, and by the end of the season, he had Royal Ivey joining him. Surely that sort of example was not lost on the Bucks, who will likely be relying heavily on youngsters Larry Sanders, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo next season.
The Bucks have made a habit of bringing back well regarded veterans this off season, as reports also have Zaza Pachulia and Carlos Delfino heading back to Milwaukee for next season.
The Ridnour Bucks fans most likely remember had a few qualities we all reflect fondly upon on the court as well. He shot very accurately from outside the arc, consistently drilled pull-up jumpers in transition and delivered clean, but surprisingly hard fouls in transition. No layups with Ridnour around. His outside shot has fallen off in the past two seasons though. After hitting a career best 44% of his threes in his first season in Minnesota, Ridnour made just 32% and 31% in the past two seasons, playing largely off the ball next to Ricky Rubio, similar to his role next to Jennings in Milwaukee.
Ridnour already spoke to Bucks.com’s Jim Paschke and was excited to return to Milwaukee.
“We had some good teams, so I’m excited to be back,” he said. “I hope this team can get back to the playoffs and have a great season next year. I’m just here to contribute in whatever ways I can and help this team get better and make the playoffs, hopefully do some damage in the playoffs. I know that’s something they haven’t done in a while so it’d be fun to be apart of it.”