- ESPN Insider Chad Ford runs down what every team is doing (and not doing) on the trade front. Nothing too surprising in what he says about the Bucks, though it's interesting he mentions Redd first. Not that I doubt Redd will be in play this summer, but seeing the Bucks swing a blockbuster deal out of nowhere just doesn't seem in the cards right now.
With Bucks GM Larry Harris in trouble, no one's sure whether owner Herb Kohl will let him make a deal. If the Bucks are active, don't be surprised if the player moved is Michael Redd. He has a ton of talent, but the three years and $34 million left on his contract are a concern for Milwaukee -- and for potential trade partners as well.
Easier to move would be Charlie Villanueva. Yi Jianlian is the future at the 4, so the Bucks should move Villanueva while he still has some value. But the team has been trying to package him with Bobby Simmons -- 2 years, $20 million remaining -- which is why they haven't found any takers yet.
It's important to note that he's got Redd's cap number wrong--Redd is owed a combined $33 million in 08/09 and 09/10, and then has an early termination option that would allow him to become a free agent in the summer of 2010. But that would also require turning down $18.3 million in 10/11, which seems unlikely given his new deal isn't likely to approach those figures. That adds up to $51 million over three years, well above the $34 million Chad mentions. If Redd was owed only $11 million per season for the rest of his deal then the Bucks would have GMs pounding down their door for Redd's services. At an average of $17 million per season, not quite so much.
- J.E. Skeets from Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie ran into Yi Jianlian on Bourboun Street. Here's his account:
That same night, Yi Jianlian strolled past me down Bourbon. I had a couple in me, so I ran up to him from behind, tapped him on the elbow (there was no way I could reach his shoulder), and introduced myself. He shook my hand, and that was that. Eazy Yi: tall, polite, firm handshake.
- David Stern's talk of NBA expansion into Europe has Michael Hunt wondering about the viability of small market franchises at home.
Even the league's recent attempt at expansion isn't working, as the Charlotte Bobcats are struggling. Meanwhile, Stern's relocations are failing. The Hornets are hemorrhaging money. The Memphis Grizzlies are hurting as the only game in town. Oklahoma City is a disaster waiting to happen.
Before making happy talk about romantic European getaways, Stern needs to take care of his responsibilities at home.
The record will indicate that Herb Kohl has made his share of mistakes, but the senator will spend money, more money, frankly, than this market can bear, in pursuit of a winner. Responsible management is one thing but Kohl or the next ownership group needs help from the league. There must be a real form of revenue sharing to strengthen all the small markets, like Indiana and Utah and Milwaukee, because New York can't play Los Angeles every other night. Or London.
The idea of an intercontinental league still seems largely a pipe dream to me, considering the huge infrastructure, cultural and travel issues with a global league. It might make more sense, at least in the interim, to mimic soccer's Champions League by organizing an NBA-run tournament between European and NBA franchises, but stopping short of a fully integrated league. Either way, certain franchises are no doubt hurting, and the Bucks are clearly second class citizens compared to some of their wealthier and more successful brethren. The long-term viability of the franchise would be greatly helped by a more robust revenue sharing arrangement, but given the current construct there will also remain a critical need for a new arena. A downtown arena/entertainment hub would guarantee the Bucks' long-term presence in Milwaukee and provide a shot of life to the downtown area as well. City leaders can delude themselves into thinking the BC is good enough, but for now the team's tenuous lease agreement simply makes the Bucks more attractive as a buy-and-move target than anything else. Meaning that as much as we like to complain about how Herb Kohl runs the franchise, it's better than the alternative of someone else buying it and running it elsewhere.
- Bob Lanier will be the next Buck legend to have his retired number re-dedicated. It will happen at halftime of the Bucks-Pistons game this Wednesday, February 20 at the BC. Lanier of course came to the Bucks in a trade from the Pistons. Congrats Bob!
- The Bratwurst provides a wishlist for the remainder of the season.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. I don’t want them to tank games for draft position (this years’ draft looks to be full of busts to me). I just want this team to play hard, not to quit on their coach, and to be competitive through the end of the year.
- Ty at Bucks Diary investigates whether Herb Kohl is delusional.