This mildly disappointing offseason has been all about reunions for the Bucks. Bringing back Zaza Pachulia. Signing Carlos Delfino after giving him the cold shoulder a season ago. Reuniting former Hawks and current Bucks coach Larry Drew with two of his former staff members (plus Zaza). If nothing else, the Bucks have drawn on past experience to put together a group of stable locker room personalities.
Now there is the potential to add an even more significant member of the 2012-13 Hawks, who finished with a 44-38 record — six games ahead of the 38-44 Bucks. From Mark Stein at ESPN.com,
Sources briefed on the situation told ESPN.com that the Hawks and Bucks have in recent days discussed a sign-and-trade deal to land Brandon Jennings in Atlanta and send fellow restricted free agent Jeff Teague to Milwaukee to reunite with former Hawks coach Larry Drew. ESPN.com reported early in free agency that the Bucks, at Drew’s behest, had interest.
Bring back the Milwaukee Hawks! Woo-hoo, party like it’s 1955!
The fascination that the talent-strapped Bucks have with acquiring non-stars from a six seed is puzzling. At the same time, though, the Bucks won’t be getting any surprises. Larry Drew knows exactly what he has in Pachulia and what he would have in Jeff Teague. If Drew suggested that John Hammond make a play for Teague, then that’s clearly a player he can live with. Can Drew happily co-exist with Brandon Jennings? Who knows? It’s a positive known versus an unknown — so unless the talent level is lopsided in Jennings’ favor, the known wins out (provided that Hammond can pull off an amenable deal).
Speaking of talent levels, here are their statistics from last season:
Jennings took care of the ball better than Teague did. Teague played better defense and made a much higher percentage of two-point shots (48.2% to 41.2%), though one might argue that he did so when surrounded with a better group of offensive players on a lower usage rate.
Here also is a quick look at their shot locations last season (from Vorped.com), with Jennings on the left and Teague on the right:
Jennings had the edge as a jump shooter, but Teague gets shots at the rim more frequently and converts them with a much higher success rate — and the distinction is most stark on Jennings’ natural left-hand side. Egad.
If the Bucks’ interest in the Hawks is odd, the Hawks’ fascination with bringing in Bucks is odder. The Hawks are reportedly interested in Monta Ellis, though Atlanta had the good sense to learn from Milwaukee’s failed experiment of 2012-13. According to Stein,
If those sign-and-talks progress to the serious stage, sources said, Atlanta would inevitably have to rescind its longstanding interest in Ellis, knowing he and Jennings realistically couldn’t play together again given how poorly they functioned as a backcourt duo in Milwaukee last season.
What is this ‘failure’ of which Stein speaks? The Bucks made the playoffs last season. Isn’t the hallmark of a successful season whether or not you eked in as a sub-.500 eight-seed?