Bucks Diary

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Revisiting recent Bucks trades and picks

Its time to reevaluate the Bucks roster moves of the past few seasons. Specifically, the trades they made and the Bogut draft pick. Things get a little biblical, because players have been turned over so often (Mason begat Magliore who begat Blake who begat Boykins, etc.). That said, I will consider each move seperately with an eye toward the players the Bucks ultimately ended up with. All players involved are listed with their Eff48 production numbers for this season and their Eff48 ranking compared with other players in the NBA.

1. Bogut-over-Williams No. 1 pick

Note: I'm going to avoid the annoying technique most employ when evaluating draft picks, namely implausible hindsight. At the time of the draft, the two players who were universally considered as potential number one picks were Andrew Bogut and Atlanta's Marvin Williams. Therefore, I will limit my evaluation to those two players.

Bogut............(24.56) (82nd in the NBA)
Williams..........(17.36) (269th in the NBA)

Advantage: Bucks
While Bogut is slowly proving to be a below average No. 1 pick, the fact is he was probably the only choice the Bucks had in a down year, and he certainly is proving a better pick than the other big consideration at the time, Marvin Williams. At the time, many feared the Bucks were making a "Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan" pick. That has proven a wildly false analogy. Bogut has shown the ability to be a somewhat productive starter in the Association, Williams has shown he has no natural position and may be a bust.

2. Mason and a No. 1 pick-for-Magliore

Magliore.............(19.16) (216th in the NBA)
Mason................(14.92) (336th in the NBA)
C. Simmons.........(14.55) (342nd in the NBA)

Advantage: Bucks
Little did we know it at the time, but this turned out to be a garbage-for-garbage trade of severely declining players. This is a hard trade to evaluate because Magliore has been flipped twice already by the Bucks, but I give the advantage to the Bucks because they had the foresight to ditch Mason when they did (reading Hornets discussion boards, they have no love for Mason, either), and they ultimately ended up with a decent player or two for Magliore. BTW, Simmons, the pick NOK made with the Bucks selection, shows the sketchy value of middle of the first round picks. Its really hit-or-miss (which is what worries me about the Bucks recent win streak).

3. Ford-for-Villanueva

Villanueva.............(23.89) (92nd in the NBA)
Ford....................(25.02) (70th in the NBA)

Advantage: Raptors
I was crazy about this trade when it was made, and even now I would still make it because of Villanueva's higher ceiling, but in fairness the advantage thus far goes to the Raptors, with some caveats. The first caveat is that Ford's career in Milwaukee was headed nowhere and I'm not convinced he could put up the higher numbers he's putting up for the Raptors if he were still in a Bucks jersey. The second caveat is that even the Raptors aren't completely sold on Ford as their point guard of the present or the future. They've found a gem in the sophomore Jose Calderon (aka "The Spanish Fly"), who has outproduced Ford and has displaced him of late in the starting line-up (albeit as a result of Ford's recent ankle injury). Plus, Ford recently compared himself to Allen Iverson, which tells you all you need to know about his mentality as a point guard. I'm going to be patient with this trade. Villanueva has showed some good signs, if he could just stay healthy and possibly ingest some raw meat from time-to-time.

4. Magliore-for-Blake, Skinner, and that Korean Guy

Blake.......................(15.06) (329th in the NBA)
Skinner.....................(18.24) (252nd in the NBA)
Korean Guy................(where you at?)
Magliore....................(19.16) (216th in the NBA)

Advantage: Bucks
At the time this deal was done, many in BucksNation wondered why Harris didn't get more for Magliore. In hindsight, had he gotten more he probably would be in jail right now for grand theft. The fact is Magliore is not only a bad player, he's a bad teammate who's delusional about his offensive prowess, and he's on the severe downslide in production. Good riddance. On the other side of the ledger, Blake produced next to nothing for the Bucks (most of his Eff48 production listed above has come as a Denver Nugget), but the Bucks ultimately got a decent point guard for him in Boykins. And, as I said at the time of the trade, Skinner is essentially Magliore-without-the-baggage, so slight advantage to Milwaukee.

5. J Smith-for-Patterson

Patterson.................(23.74) (97th in the NBA)
J Smith....................(21.22) (146th in the NBA)

Advantage: Bucks
This little-thought-about trade has turned out to the best deal the Bucks made. The old warhorse Joe Smith is about ready for the glue factory, and Ruben has outperformed his career numbers and has been a godsend in light of the injury to presumed starter Bobby Simmons. And, as I mentioned in the last post, he's been the Bucks most reliable player, in terms of health, effort, defensive intensity, and consistent production.

6. Blake-for-Boykins

Boykins.....................(18.21) (Eff48 since the trade)
Blake........................(17.34) (Eff48 since the trade)

Advantage: Push
At the time this deal was made, I wondered what Denver was smoking. Since then, Earl the Pearl has underwhelmed while Blake suddenly realized the NBA season was underway. That said, Boykins is still outproducing Blake, and Blake showed no inclination to fit in Milwaukee anyway. Therefore, I have to call this deal a push.


At March 1, 2007 at 11:46 PM, Blogger Frank said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At March 1, 2007 at 11:48 PM, Blogger Frank said...

So, 4W1L and 1Tie, and the game is not over about that L. Do you think Harris did a good job? Or just luck?

At March 2, 2007 at 10:33 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

The thing is, if you view all of the moves together, he's winning the battles, but has he made any progress with the war? I don't know.

I do like this about Harris, though: his willingness to constantly retool. Too many GMs put together these ridiculous "5 Year Plans" like their Stalin or something, and they refuse to abandon them when they aren't working. That doesn't work in basketball.

I think being a basketball GM, unlike any other sport, is like playing one of those discard card game like "Hearts". To be successful, at any given moment you have to be ready to get rid of some cards but you also always have to have an eye on the valuable cards you must keep to win.


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