Bucks Diary

Friday, June 29, 2007

Yi to ask for trade today

According to SI.com, the representatives for Yi Jianlian will formally request a trade from the Milwaukee Bucks sometime Friday. It appears the player's agents were serious when they said they did not want their client to don the Green and Red. To them I say, in the immortal words of Bub, "Think again, moose breath".

If I were Larry Harris I would absolutely and categorically refuse such a request on the spot. Harris was right to defy their original efforts to avoid a selection by the Bucks, and having done that, it is imperative now that he sticks to his guns. Giving in to the ridiculous demand at this point would do nothing but harm the Bucks and set a dangerous precedent that, once established, would damage the future interests of small market teams like Milwaukee.

Harris' message to Yi's representatives should be direct and simple: If Yi wants to play in the NBA, he must do so in Milwaukee. End of discussion. The sooner he gets that through his skull, the better for him. A protracted holdout, or a return to China, would be a seriously foolish move, as it would only serve to hurt his pocketbook and his marketability. It would cost him NBA paychecks he can never recover, and it would damage his public reputation and squander away the precious goodwill his representatives hope to cash in on through their various endorsement schemes. He has no rational choice but to play for the Bucks.

And so, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, its no time to get wobbly. My advice to Larry is this. Don't buckle... don't even blink... when they give you their ludicrous demand. Reject it outright, and then educate them to the realities of the NBA draft process. Yi will soon realize the Bucks are the only game in town.


At June 29, 2007 at 6:54 AM, Blogger Diesel said...

My question is what happens to Villanueva and Simmons? You have Drew Bogut at center, Yip Cabbage at power forward and then what? Will Bobby be okay coming off the bench? Also, if Detroit plans on bringing Billups back, then why use all three of your selections on guards?

At June 29, 2007 at 9:57 AM, Blogger Gregg said...

Although I like the fact that Milwaukee is causing an international incident, I don't know what to think of this pick. From what I can tell, Yi and Charlie are similar players (skinny, tall, jump shooters, no defense). I'm apprehensive but honestly I trust Del Harris- if he says the guy can play in the NBA, he probably can.

I'm more concerned that Yi's distaste for Milwaukee will lead to poor play. And even if he's good, he definitely won't stick around past his rookie contract. I say we try to get Brandan Wright and Monta Ellis from Golden State for him.

At June 29, 2007 at 12:29 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Diesel, they're talking about bringing Villanueva in off the bench, which doesn't make sense to me because between Villanueva and Yi, Villanueva is clearly the more advanced player. That's why the Yi pick is sort of curious. It more or less duplicates the strengths that we already have and accentuates the weaknesses that are already there (lack of physical play, poor defense, poor rebounding).

I don't know what Simmons role will be. I suspect Villanueva will split time between the PF and SF spots with Simmons being the primary SF, but that's just a guess.

If Detroit doesn't try to retain Billups, the Bucks may get him. In that case I would dump Mo Williams.

At June 29, 2007 at 12:38 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Gregg, as my subsequent post illustrates, I'm just as bewildered about this pick as you are. If draftexpress is right, Yi is merely a big ball of potential, but not someone who is ready to contribute in any substantial way. They feel he will have a hell of a time adjusting to the competition and physical play in the NBA, and I tend to agree.

But I have an even deeper, philosophical question, too. What is the Bucks vision for Yi? What do they expect him to eventually become? Do they see him as a big time scorer? If so, he needs to expand his game substantially. Or do they think he will just be able to use his size and athleticism to eventually dominate games? If so, I think they are being naive.

I guess, theoretically, with his size he could blossom into a good defender and rebounder, and with his basic shooting skills and leaping ability, he could be a productive scorer. But he needs to develop both mental and physical toughness to reach his potentials, and those can be elusive qualities if you do not naturally possess them.


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