Bucks Diary

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Clarifying my position on Bogut

Everyone's down on me because they think I suggested that Bucks center Andrew Bogut is utterly useless and that the Bucks should immediately dump him. That's not what I meant to suggest. Let me clarify my position.

I wasn't suggesting Bogut was incompetent or that he couldn't do a few useful things on the court. The question I was asking about Bogut is the same one the New York Giants are now asking about their former number one pick, Eli Manning. To wit:

"The only thing we evaluate is 'Can we win with this guy?'" (Giants owner) Mara told Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News. "That's the one thing. When we talk about any player at the end of the season, the No.1 question is 'Will he help us win?' And to take it one step further, 'Can we win a championship with this guy?"

That's what I was asking. Can we win a championship with this guy? And my assessment is no. Resoundingly no. He plays well against the dregs of the NBA, but he gets bulldozed everytime he meets a decent center. And he's been doing this now for 2+ years. That is not a guy you're going to win a championship with.

That being the case, what I was suggesting was the Bucks should be open to offers for both he and Villanueva. Villanueva has clearly fallen into Coach K's doghouse, and both guys, I believe, still command a certain premium on the market. But how long will they continue to do so?

You may ask, who am I looking for in return? Preferably any player who can bring long term consistent production to the team. It doesn't necessarily have to be a center swap. The Bucks aren't going anywhere this year, anyway.

Maybe it won't work. Maybe there's no one out there. But we ought to be exploring.


At November 15, 2007 at 8:45 PM, Blogger Glenn said...

I think that trades for the sake of trades aren't going to help the Bucks. If a superstar becomes disgruntled at some point in the season then the Bucks surely need to try to get him. Bogut may not display Shaq-like dominance, but he is pretty good. I think that the Bucks are going to have to decide eventually between Bogut and Yi, because one finesse guy in the post is all we can afford. Bogut will probably be the one to go, but hopefully only for a draft pick that could net a star, or as part of a package that gets the Bucks a real, honest to god talent. Not a Jamaal Maglore or an aging Gary Payton with Desmond Mason.

At November 15, 2007 at 9:43 PM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

You can't really deny Bogut's stat line last night and effect on the game. It was good. Now was it good because Memphis was a good matchup for him? Don't know. Maybe it was good for Bogut because Memphis was a good matchup for Redd and Mo, and those guys were able to pass and work plays that they can't work against say a San Antonio.

I'm not sure who we acquire to play center that is better than Magloire to replace Bogut.

We just need to see how things play out here the next 10-15 games as guys settle in. I've still got some hope that Bogut and CV start becoming more consistent.

At November 15, 2007 at 11:53 PM, Blogger Glenn said...

There aren't that many great centers out there to begin with.

At November 16, 2007 at 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm of two minds when it comes to Bogut. I think he is a great rebounder and passer. Hes not a bruiser so gets pushed around a little bit. Alot of people are saying he needs to be more selfish but I think we have enough ball hogs in the NBA.

At November 18, 2007 at 12:31 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

I enjoy your blog as it is most often extremely intelligent and well thought out, and offers some excellent insight. In this case however I think you are going to end up with egg on your face. Bogut is, lets remember, still very young, particularly in a basketball sense as right through his development he's been a late bloomer. The constant argument levelled against him is that the stars (i.e. Duncan, Yao etc) blow him out (who don't they blow out?), but my thoughts on this are slightly different. Bogut competes manfully with what has until very recently been a very very poor defensive big man rotation around him, which has often seen him get into foul trouble early whilst competing against guys who simply blow by either the Bucks guards, or his fellow big man in Charlie V, who some feel is the worst big defender in the nba.
Then we get down to offense where, particularly during the stotts reign, the bucks have essentially 4 shooting guards plus Bogut, none of which want to give the ball up, all of whom want to jack the ball up.
The past couple of games have highlighted this, in that once Mo and Redd begin to distribute the ball instead of shooting every play Bogut's numbers go up, as does his value to this team, and wouldn't you know it the Bucks start winning.
Whilst Bogut still has areas of his game he needs to improve, most notably backing a guy down in the low post, he is an excellent passer, rebounder, finisher around the bucket and has greatly improved his defence (which has been helped by adding a half decent big defender beside him in Yi) to add shot blocker to his reportoire.
If the Bucks administration felt like you and didn't want him I guarantee you there would be no shortage of teams who did, as good young big men like him are very hard to find.
As for the Bucks not being able to win a championship with him I find that a ridiculous statement as he is absolutely NOT the problem on this team. I seem to remember a team from Chicago doing ok a few years back with first Bill Cartwright and then Luc Longley as they're starting centers who were both only decent players, and I'd pick Bogut ahead of both of them. I get the impression though that you wouldn't.
Bogut hating seems to be becoming a sport among Bucks fans which is disappointing. Let's take Bogut for what he is, a good young developing big man.

At November 18, 2007 at 1:42 AM, Anonymous glenn said...

Um, Longley played with Jordan. That's why the Bulls were good - Jordan. A little Australian bias? How exactly is "Bogut hating" becoming a "sport" for Buck's fans? Everyone has been very measured in their criticism. I guess you are the rational one, though, claiming that Longley was the reason the Bulls won championships.

At November 18, 2007 at 5:58 AM, Anonymous Phil said...

He wasn't claiming Longley as the key to the Bulls championship, merely pointing out the fact that a championship can be won with an average or below average center. Yes it does help having Michael Jordan on the team, but no longer does a team have to have an all-star calibre center to win. A point that author of this blog is trying to make.

Bogut-bashing is alive and well. Just head over to RealGM any time he has an off game. Any #1 pick is under tremendous pressure to perform to the lofty heights that are associated with being taken #1.

Bogut won't ever be a Kareem or a Shaq or a Duncan. But he could definitely finish off his career as an 18/10 player, someone who most teams would kill for to fill the hole in the middle.

This team, in it's current form, CAN win. If Yi develops the way we think he might and if Mo continues to play his role the right way, and if Bogut finds some consistency, we have the potential to compete at the top of the East for years to come.

At November 18, 2007 at 9:23 AM, Anonymous paul said...

Thanks Phil for explaining my point exactly, glenn accidentally highlighted precisely what i meant by saying the bulls were great because of Jordan along with some other great players, but throughout all their championships only had average centers.
Neither Cartwright (who i'm pretty sure wasn't Australian) nor Longley were anything above solid centers yet started for 7 or 8 championships between them. I know the Bulls had Jordan and i'm not kidding myself that the Bucks have anyone to compete with him, I'm just saying that a solid center is all you need with a good core unit and I believe Bogut is on the way to being an above average center. And your completely right about the Bogut hating on Realgm, which is part of what prompted me into my initial post.
I think the Bucks have close to all the necessary ingredients now to be a very competitive team for a long time, particularly if Mo can continue to develop into the 'pass first' point guard this team so desperately needs.

At November 18, 2007 at 9:16 PM, Anonymous Glenn said...

I don't go to RealGM. I follow Milwaukee media and was talking about the criticism at THIS site. My point, should you choose to accept it, is that comparing Jordan's Bulls to the Bucks is irrelevant. My point is that a team without a transcendent talent (James, Jordan, Bryant)can not be compared to a team with one. Redd is good, but he's not in their league, and the Bucks don't have the assets to acquire someone who is. Sure a team can win without a solid center. Or a solid power forward. Or a solid shooting guard. Or small forward. Or point guard. I read what you said, and still believe that you have an Australian bias. I have a Wisconsin bias. I love Caron Butler because he's from Racine. I love Tony Romo because he came from Burlington. At least I admit it.

At November 18, 2007 at 9:26 PM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

People (and Aussie fans) need to distinguish criticism of Bogut as an NBA player and Bogut's performance relative to being the #1 overall pick.

Bogut as NBA player is a nice developing center who can help most teams. He may have a lot more upside to him if he improves his consistency and FT shooting.

Bogut as #1 overall pick hasn't performed like even some mid-tier caliber #1 overall picks such as Brad Daugherty. And the team bypassed two perennial all star point guards in Deron Williams and Chris Paul in the 2005 draft. The Bogut bashing comes with the territory of being the top pick and is directly related to that.

If the Bucks had selected Bogut with the 22nd pick in the draft, we'd all be looking at him as a steal. When you get the #1 overall pick, people expect that pick to be a franchise player.

At November 19, 2007 at 2:46 AM, Anonymous paul said...

I've got no problem with any of what you guys said. I agree that it is difficult to rate a team with someone like Jordan in it against the modern day Bucks, was just making the point that not all great teams have great centers. I honestly believe that if the mix is right with the rest of the group the center spot can be slightly overrated.
In saying all that though i'm still of the belief that Bogut is worth perservering with at least until he's had more than 3 seasons in the league and is above the age of 22.
I might be showing some bias but honestly think he has the talent to become at worst a top 10 center in the league and possibly slightly beyond that, and imo any team who traded a center of that calibre would have to be nuts, unless it was for Dwight, Yao or Duncan, none of whom as you said we will ever be able to afford.
Bogut in a crap, guard driven offense last year averaged around 12 points and 9 boards in his sophmore year, if he was to up that to say 16 and 11 whilst playing excellent D this season would you guys be happy with that?
As for the whole #1 criticism compared with general criticism thing i understand that but still don't think he's a bust as a #1 necessarily. Whilst his development would want to improve quickly i reckon the comparisons with the Brad Daugherty's of this world are a bit premature after only 2 seasons of play and at 22, do we no longer have any patience at all?
As I said initially i'm completely happy to agree that Bogut still has many weaknesses in his game, just think giving up on him now would be extremely foolish.

Note - Not to have a crack paulpressy25 but before we call Williams and Paul (both excellent players by the way) perrenial all-stars lets wait for them to get picked once hey? Last year they were both selected in the sophmore team that Bogut was captain of if memory serves correctly, yet he's on the block and they are future hall of famers, why are we all in such a hurry?


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