Report: Bucks Nearing Deal with Gary Neal

Hi, I'm Gary.
Hi, I’m Gary.

Gary Neal is already 28 years old after only being in the league for three seasons. His field goal percentage has been on a steady decline since his entrance into the league in 2010-11 and last year he shot a swag twins-like 41.2 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from 3-point. This article was written by Andrew McNeil of 48 Minutes of Hell after the Spurs traded George Hill and it does a good job breaking down Neal’s potential to play point guard. He definitely has the size to play it at 6’4.

The Bucks clearly seem done with Brandon Jennings, who is five years younger than Neal and capable of a much higher ceiling. But if Neal wants to be in Milwaukee, works hard, and comes with a reasonable contract then fine. He was playing in the NBA Finals a month ago. Maybe he has some Gregg Popovich secrets to tell.

Who’s excited to see what the Neal/Luke Ridnour/Nate Wolters/O.J. Mayo backcourt can accomplish?!?

I’m not expecting much. But I’m genuinely looking forward to watch something different.

Categories: The Off Season

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  1. this is a very good sign for a backup sg that we were in need of, everyone needs to stop assuming everyone we could possibly sign is going to play point in place of jennings, we already have to many pgs we arent going after another in neal

  2. I like this signing. Forget the stats. We all watched the playoffs. Give him minutes and he can do some serious damage. Excellent acquisition.

  3. Neal plays the right way, hopefully Atlanta doesn’t come back in the picture and screw this up like the Teague offer sheet. BTW, the Hawks have a stock-pile of PGs, so they obviously saw Neal as a SG.

    • I’m hoping that the contract is in the same range that the Spurs signed Marco Belinelli. Maybe 3-years at 3.25 mil per season.

        • Randall Delaney

          No, I think it will be around 3-4 million range and for 2-3 years with a possible player or team option.

          • Randall Delaney

            He will get Carlos Delfino type numbers I think. He’ll be worth it if he provides what he did in San Antonio. This will give us our Texas triangle: A Spur (Neal), a Rocket (Delfino), and a Maverick (Mayo). I think this is a win if Bucks complete the deal. It also still leaves the Bucks with financial flexibility, making John Hammond smarter than people are giving him credit. The Bucks couldn’t get the top free agents, so we’re getting the next best thing and the players aren’t bad or the contracts in my opinion. I think now the Bucks need to focus on the SF position more than ever. I don’t see anyone that should be starting at that position on this roster. If Delfino doesn’t come off of the bench then this could be all a waist of time. Depending on what happens with Jennings and Ish Smith, the Bucks have 3 spots available to fill (given Giannis and Wolters get a contract done in the coming month). I think if Jennings stays then Smith may be traded, waived, or held in the D-League (unless Wolters is used as SG and Smith plays as 3rd PG).
            That leaves us here:
            PG: Jennings/Ridnour/Wolters (like this)
            SG: Mayo/Neal (looking better than it did last year to me)
            SF: Delfino/Giannis (need another SF, possibly 2)
            PF: Ilyasova/Henson/Udoh (solid)
            C: Sanders/Zaza/Miroslav (nice depth)

            I really would like to see Ilyasova used as a SF and start Henson. That would give you a starting 5 with size and still plenty of speed. Also a trio of rebounders in the game. I think Henson is another Larry Sanders and they both have tons of untapped potential still!

    • Maybe Ersan could play some small forward in a zone defense, or if the other small forward isn’t much of a scorer. Maybe he could play some at both forward positions. To make such a strong statement in CAPS, it would be good if there were a couple sentences supporting your reasons for using a harsh word like STUPID. Can’t we disagee with civility? We’re all on the same side, united as fans suffering with a team that is mediocre at best, a team we are all hoping will somehow get it — and get better.

      • Randall Delaney

        Yes, I agree Sfisch! I don’t see where it is redundant, and why would it be stupid? The guy doesn’t fit at the 4 position and he can shoot better than anyone else on the team. Why put him in no man’s land at the 4 anymore? The guy would make a nice wing player and would make sense to move him. Having Henson and Sanders playing inside and letting Ersan finally become free just makes so much sense to me! He shot 44.4% from 3-point land last season! That’s 4th best in the NBA and 3rd best in the East only behind Calderon and Korver (and Curry in the West). Only one other PF in the top 30 in 3 point %: Dirk Nowitzki. Ilyasova would excel at the spot and besides we need a player to fill in the SF position. I think Justin might be a Bulls fan on the wrong forum?

        • ok, here goes:

          ersan cannot defend the position. he’s listed at 6-9, 235, and i think we can all agree quite rationally that he is not an athletic beast, and he probably only possesses quite average quickness, lateral movement, straight line speed, and leaping ability for a guy his size. he can’t close out on wings without totally selling out, and he can’t run with wings in transition. i won’t even go so far as to say that he can’t keep a wing in front of him in the half court or keep a quicker more athletic wing boxed out in space, but those have to be considerations as well. at 26 he’s entering his prime and has reached his athletic ceiling. look at a player like josh smith, listed at 6-9 225, who has top tier athleticism, and basketball heads agree that he has real limitations playing the 3. no nba teams really play a true zone, so that is not a strong argument for hiding him on the defensive end.

          ersan’s value is derived from being a stretch 4. he is an elite shooter for a big, and many of his looks on the perimeter are derived from his being guarded by bigger more plodding pf’s. he creates mismatches and opens the floor as a 4. these advantages, which comprise his value as an nba player, are greatly diminished as a 3.

          he is a tweener, and the coaching staff definitely should experiment with him, even if that means plugging him in at the 3 for big lineups, trick matchups, or in general for sporadic spurts. however, it would be very hard to have a consistent sustainable winning team that locks down on d and is dynamic and quick on the offensive end (in a league that is going smaller!) with ersan logging heavy minutes at the 3.

          please hear me on this. im a big ersan fan, and especially am a fan of his scrappiness and rebounding/tip-in ability for a euro 4. it just isn’t clear thinking to pencil him in as a real option at the 3.

          • Well said. As we know all too well, Sanders can only do so much on defense. Ersan’s lack of perimeter defense would kill the team from the 3. I’m all for trying it, but I don’t see it being very effective. Additionally, with Sanders, Henson, and Ersan on the floor you have one shooter and zero guys who are above average at taking a man off the dribble or posting up. That leaves a lot of pressure on the guards to create.

          • Good stuff from Randall, Gman and Paleoreef… I don’t really know the answer, but as I said above, maybe Ersan can play some at both forward positions. I am swayed by the argument that he shouldn’t be our primary small forward, but that he might be good there in certain situations. I’m hoping the Bucks will be creative and smart about this, so Larry and John and Ersan all get plenty of minutes, but also enough rest to keep them fresh.
            Any chance Gary Neal could also work out at the three in certain situations?

  4. happyfeethustle

    Love the idea of Gary Neal in Bucks uni… You know he’s ben coached up correctly. Hope that Drew gets as much productivity out of him as possible. He just needs steady minutes to be effective. Roster is rounding out well. NO TANK HERE!!!! My personal thanks to Bucks management and Senator Kohl-if you are playing to lose why suit up at all!


  5. I don’t know if Gary Neal is a true point guard, but I’m pretty sure that Brandon is not. Whoever we sign, if we don’t have a point guard, or two, or three, to distribute the ball to our guys, we are going to be in big trouble. The point about the point guard being, even if Neal is really good, we’re still in trouble unless he’s a pass-first point guard with the talent and temperament for that position.
    On a positive note, I really liked Ish in the Summer League running the show for the Bucks, and Luke Ridnour was super-solid for the Bucks in his last stint. Maybe this combo can handle the load. At least they might be guys focused on getting good shots for their teammates moreso than for themselves. This doesn’t seem to be the case for Brandon by temperament, plus he doesn’t seem to be all that skilled at dribbling and passing the ball by talent. I see him more as a sixth man, a combo guy, who can handle the ball some and shoot the ball some, but isn’t great at either — although he could provide good energy and streaky scoring off the bench. At about age 23, he might have room for considerable improvement. I wish him the best, but probably elsewhere, for his good and ours.

  6. why dont people understand he isnt a point guard, he is a shooter not a passer. he may be a good passer as a sg but not pg level passing.

    • i agree. I think people try to rationalize players playing out of position to try and make them more valuable. In some instances playing out of position may work, but why is it a bad thing if a player is good in one position? Dunleavy was good at mostly playing the SF position. Sure he COULD and sometimes did play SG but he was most effective at SF and he was one of my favorite players on the Bucks

    • Getting another SG was something the Bucks needed. Will be interesting to see how coaching staff puts this all together.

      Everyone keeps waiting for SF and this week we get a C & SG. The drama continues.

      • most people on this site complain about the bucks being mediocre/average/8th seed or worse every year yet some of you guys want gary neal to start at point guard over our only chance in an all star in jennings.

  7. Nice, the numbers are great, 2-years 6.5 mil. So for the price Hammonds offered Ellis, we now have replaced both Ellis and Reddick with Mayo and Neal. Much rather pay Neal 3.25 mil. per season than Reddick 6.5-7 mil. per season.

    This leaves us about 5.5 mil., counting Jennings QO, we shall see if he plays for the QO or not. I would still like us to add a SF as the final piece.

  8. The more I think about the possible addition of Gary Neal, I wonder how much different is he than O.J. Mayo. Also, how much different is Miroslav than Zaza? This is starting to trouble me.

  9. Ersan could play the 3 offensively when Udoh is in at the 4. Udoh is quick enough to guard 3s.

  10. Great contract, and he also isnt good enough to help the Bucks win now so there is still a chance for the stealth tank. Best FA acquisition of the offseason thus far hands down

  11. Bring Jennings back one year at least. Nate may be ready next year on a 6th or 7th seed team. Team is rounding out and I like. Bring Jennings back or 2 years, where is not the only guy who can get his own shot…this changes the the chemistry. Hope its given a chance. Short term Jennings offers much and long term if it works. Can not blame Jennings for this teams shortcomings. This team was flawed through its inability to ehnance eachs potential. Adding shooters and other scoring options will contribute greatly towards Jennings being a pass first point guard.