Bucks Diary

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bucks fans should applaud Harris' move

I keep reading that, by drafting Yi Jianlian in the face of threats that he will not play in Milwaukee, GM Larry Harris took a huge gamble. I don't see it that way at all.

Yi willingly submitted himself to the draft and therefore the Bucks had the option to select him under the tenets of the collective bargaining agreement. Harris clearly believed Yi was the best player on the board at the time the Bucks picked. Let's assume for the sake of argument that he was right. Had Harris capitulated and passed on Yi, he would have, in essence, voluntarily forfeited the Bucks draft position. He would have effectively moved the Bucks down in the picking order with nothing to show in return. That would have been a breach of his fiduciary duties as general manager.

Instead, by exercising the Bucks right to select the player they believed to be the best remaining on the board, Harris took an important stand for the interests of the franchise. The team simply cannot afford to allow Don Fegan or anyone else to circumvent the draft process. The sanctity of the draft is absolutely vital to their competitive future. The team already has to pay a premium to attract free agents. If they suddenly had to get permission to select the player they wanted, they might as well just close up shop.


At June 30, 2007 at 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article kicks ass. Finally, a well-formed thought about the Yi situation. HOWEVER, be honest, isn't this just a set up for a trade?

At June 30, 2007 at 11:37 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

I sincerely hope not. I'm so invested in making sure that the slimeball Don Fegan doesn't get his way, I would never succumb in any way to his interests.

In fact, here's how obsessed I am with thwarting Fegan. If I were Harris, I would take a "we will burn this village to save it" negotiating approach with Yi. In other words, if Yi refuses to play for the Bucks, I would tell him point blank that he will never play in the NBA for any other team.

Of course, I don't have the responsibilities of GM, so its easy for me to take impractical stands based on principle.

At June 30, 2007 at 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wouldn't take Brandan Wright and a future first rounder for Yi?

At June 30, 2007 at 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a first-rounder from a playoff team. If the Bucks had picked B. Wright I guess I could have talked myself into the pick, but I'm happy not to have to do that. Half an hour after they picked Yi, I was really hoping he wouldn't be traded.

If we see lame duck Larry Harris make a trade that counts on next offseason, he must have a secret lifetime contract to wear shiny shirts and shiny hair in Milwaukee. As for the other options that were supposedly on the table, Biedrins just doesn't impress me all that much and he'd have to be extended anyway.

At June 30, 2007 at 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you wouldn't take Biedrins you are a fool. He won't be offered anyway.

At June 30, 2007 at 2:51 PM, Blogger Gino Gaglianello said...

Alright, as a die hard Bucks fan, I do not know where to stand on this situation. I was appalled when we choose Yi on Thursday, but my opinion has changed over the last couple of days. From a marketing stand point, it is good for Milwaukee, because lets face it, the Chinese will buy Yi's jersey no matter what. And this is definitely getting Milwaukee some world wide recognition. Now, as to why Yi wouldn't want to play in a city as wonderful and beautiful as Milwaukee, is still beyond me.

I've heard that the Tigers only have him under contract for another year. And the main reason they don't want him to come is because they want to make more money, because they get 20% of his marketing. Fegan and the Tigers are dumb, they can market him anywhere. Nothing wrong with Milwaukee, people will still buy jersey's, and if he makes us good, Milwaukee will come and support him and show up to games.

If he really wants to hold out, then fuck him. I say the Bucks make his life as miserable as possible by fucking us over. But Yi I don't think cares where he plays, it's his team and country. They want to amke money, but if his contract expires with them next year, then they won't make any money off of him...so they'll cave to us. I wanted to trade him asap on draft night, but Larry Harris seems pretty strong on his stance that this guy is not going anywhere. And Del Harris used to coach him, and we've scouted him, so I have faith in the Bucks.

Also, people have to realize, a draft is a DRAFT. It's not college, you don't get to choose where you go. Everyone should have to sign something saying they will willingly go to whatever team drafts them without complaints before entering the draft.

Oh, and lastly, FUCK Joakim Noah.

At June 30, 2007 at 3:26 PM, Anonymous jr said...

Two things

1) Are you sure Dan Fegan is to blame? Or is it the CBA/Guangdong Tigers and/or whatever beaureaucratic body governs Chinese basketball? Like everything else in China, basketball is intertwined with all sorts of complex political/economic issues. I'm not trying to defend Fegan, and I understand that either way he's in collusion with the Chinese element of Yi's representation, but this strikes me as far more complex than, say, Drew Rosenhaus or Scott Boras having a client hold out for more $.

2) I don't think the issue will be Yi just refusing to show up. It will be him showing up grudgingly and going into a clearly unwanted situation. That's not a reason for the Bucks not to draft him, but it could be a vast problem, especially combined with the rigors of adjusting to the NBA.

And after that, is there a snowball's chance in hell that dude will want to stay past his rookie contract? Even if he does pan out he'll need at least 2 or 3 seasons to become a productive player. So either he's a bust or reps wind up whisking him away just when he becomes worth having. It just sounds like a setup for failure.

At June 30, 2007 at 5:21 PM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

It's entirely possible that Yi leaves after his rookie contract is up.

But, the Bucks have his rights for a five full years. If Yi is such a good player that we are worried about losing him in five years, I say bring him on.

If Yi's a player, he'll energize the town, help the team win and hopefully help get a new arena built. I'll worry about him leaving town in the summer of 2012 if it comes to that.

At June 30, 2007 at 8:57 PM, Anonymous moin said...

According to this interview, it seems like the people driving the entire situation is Yi's management:


For those who don't read Chinese, here's the pertinent portion:

Reporter: You didn't look very happy after being selected by the Bucks. Which team do you think fits you the best?

Yi: I wasn't unhappy, just very nervous, and surprised. In reality, it doesn't matter which team (picks me), my dream is to play in the NBA.

Reporter: You don't seem very interested in the Bucks. You could be traded or play ball there, how do you feel about that?

Yi: To be honest, I don't know much about the Bucks at all and I've never been to that city. Because of so little contact, I really don't know if I really fit or not. Next for me is to focus my attention and energy on playing well for the national team and the summer leagues.

Reporter: There are reports/guesses that you will be traded by the Bucks. Where do you most hope to end up?

Yi: I don't know, I let my management control those things.

It appears that Yi doesn't care one way or another and its his handlers that are making a fuss.

At July 1, 2007 at 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the chinese govt. paid for his board, education, fees so he can play basketball in china. i think he owes the govt. money and they want him to be on the right team to make more money.

At July 1, 2007 at 10:41 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

I wouldn't take Brandan Wright and a draft choice for Yi.

I've learned this year that any draft choice below 3rd is necessarily of dubious value, so essentially the Bucks would be trading Yi, the sixth pick, for Wright, the eighth pick. And the only reason they would agree to the deal would be because they have a gun to their head (if they thought Wright was the better prospect, they would have taken him in the draft). So I'd never do it. I'd rather eat Yi's rights.

Someone else made the comment that it is Yi's management that's playing the music, while these mysterious "Chinese officials" we keep hearing about are merely doing the dancing. I think that is absolutely correct. Del Harris said on Friday that the Chinese government proper rarely has anything to do with athletics. The idea that they do is just a myth made credible by our notions of China as a monolithic communist entity. The real meddlers, he said, are more often than not the owners of the team the player plays for in China. And, in this instance, I think those owners are themselves mere puppets -- doing and saying what they are told by Fegan (their comments in the linked article indicate exactly that).

So all this clap-trap about how "Chinese officials" might not let Yi play for the Bucks is a smoke screen set off by a bunch of dupes who are reading off of Fegan's music sheets. He's the Svengali here. He's calling all the shots, and he must be stopped.

At July 1, 2007 at 5:38 PM, Anonymous Moin said...

I've learned this year that any draft choice below 3rd is necessarily of dubious value, so essentially the Bucks would be trading Yi, the sixth pick, for Wright, the eighth pick. And the only reason they would agree to the deal would be because they have a gun to their head (if they thought Wright was the better prospect, they would have taken him in the draft). So I'd never do it. I'd rather eat Yi's rights.

What are you talking about? People do this all the time in the draft. The Bucks got Ray Allen by drafting Marbury 4th and then trading him to Minny for Allen (5th) and a future 1st round pick. Happens all the time. Or how about Golden State and Toronto swapping Jamison and Carter right after they drafted them? Or how about Magic picking Webber and then trading him to Golden State for Penny plus future first rounders? Heck, this is how the Bucks lost Nowitzki, 6th pick for 9th pick straight up!

People need to stop acting like this is the first time this ever happened with the NBA and get rational with this.

At July 1, 2007 at 7:37 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Those examples you gave were not analagous at all. Each of those trades occured because the particular teams coveted those particular players, and the team drafting above realized they had leverage and used it. That is not the case here. If the Bucks trade Yi, they will have been compelled to do so by Yi's refusal to play for the Bucks, not because the Bucks wanted a different player all along. That's why I find trading him for Brandan Wright, in particular, totally unacceptable.

At July 1, 2007 at 8:04 PM, Anonymous moin said...

My point is that teams draft for leverage all the time. I'm a Yi and Bucks fan, so I'd like it if it worked out the way you want it to. But it's not in either party's interest to play chicken with this. That's why I think if the Bucks get a reasonable offer for Yi, they should take it. Would it involve Wright? Who knows. Steve Francis pulled this against Vancouver when he was drafted too. And all he had was the Grizzlies were a terrible team. The Grizz tried to stare down Francis and in the end they got Dickerson, Carr, Othella Harrington, and picks for Francis. I don't want that to happen to the Bucks.


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