What others are saying about the RJ/Amir Johnson trades

OK, deep breaths everybody.  First off, I've given you my endorsement of the RJ trade and Amir Johnson acqusition, so let's check out some reaction from around the interwebs:

  • Ford: It's all financial for the Bucks.  Chad Ford broke the RJ trade earlier today, so we'll start with him.  It's always interesting reading the national media because I always forget that most of the world doesn't realize how much we've all been agonizing about the Bucks' luxury tax hell these past few months.  Also, Ramon Sessions is still a good litmus test for how much someone actually knows about the Bucks--if you think his name is pronounced "Ra-MOAN" then you clearly haven't watched the Bucks much in the last year or so.  We still love you, Chad. 
  • Dwyer: Bucks still trying to figure out what they're trying to do. Kelly Dwyer provides a good dose of reality--that this deal only makes sense in the context of becoming more serious about rebuilding. But it's all relative. I've been so depressed about the Bucks' situation the past few months that this deal has been a huge sigh of relief, but also it's true that the Bucks are mostly just cleaning up their own mess.

    It's a lopsided deal, talent-wise, even taking into consideration the way people tend to overrate Jefferson. But it's a necessary deal, in Milwaukee's eyes, as Jefferson is due over $29 million over the next two seasons, on a team with little upside and no real reason to pay a luxury like Jefferson to stick around.
  • Watson: Johnson's run in Detroit finally over.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with FanHouse writer and Detroit Bad Boys founder Matt Watson last year in Vegas, which taught me two things: Matt's an awesome dude and 2) Matt loves Amir Johnson. Granted, Johnson's 08/09 season was a major letdown, but Matt hasn't given up on him--which makes me feel even better about this deal:

    Despite having four years under his belt, Johnson's ceiling is still unknown; he played only 11 games combined his first two years and spent the next two on a short leash with Flip Saunders and Michael Curry, largely due to foul trouble. When he's on the court, though, he's shown an uncanny ability to block shots, get to loose balls and quite simply make things happen.

    He's one of the most athletic players in the league, and despite his up-and-down tenure in Detroit, he's young enough to carve out a successful career. In the short-term, his presence also gives Hammond a backup plan in case the Bucks are unable to re-sign restricted free agent Charlie Villanueva, who's certainly more polished offensively but prefers to play on the perimeter.
  • Hollinger: Everyone wins. John Hollinger writes that the Bucks are effectively trading RJ for CV and Sessions, which makes sense but was probably avoidable. I don't think the Bucks really want to bring back CV anyway for what it's worth, and the Johnson deal (which hadn't happened when Hollinger wrote his article) lends some support to that.  Note that the cap number he cites was before the Johnson deal sliced off $1.76 million.

    With roughly $9.4 million in wiggle room now available under the luxury tax line, the Bucks are in a much better position to defend against offers to Villanueva and Sessions. Even if re-signing both puts the Bucks slightly over the tax line, they'll have until the trade deadline to strip the extra dollars from the payroll and could easily shed Charlie Bell or Malik Allen at that point to get back under. The Bucks can also get further under the tax line by trading the 10th overall pick in Thursday's draft.
  • Bucks Diary: Ty says it was a move that had to be made, citing RJ's below average +/-.  
  • Bucksketball.com: Bucks in good hands.  First off, big congrats to Jeremy for joining the TrueHoop network!  As you'd expect of an excellent Bucks blogger, he's down with the John Hammond's plan.

    I’m not John Hammond, so I don’t know how things will play out. But if I were a betting man, I’d bet Ramon Sessions is wearing green and red next year. On top of that, I don’t think this impacts the Bucks draft that much. This trade shouts out "WE’RE IN REBUILDING MODE." Which is fine, because Larry Harris used to shout out "I KNOW WE’RE NOT VERY GOOD BUT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU WE ARE AND KEEP WASTING MONEY." Now we know where things stand. When teams are in rebuilding mode they need to acquire assets before needs. If the best player available is a point guard, then the Bucks should take the point guard. They could play him and Sessions together or work out another deal where they give up whoever this draft pick is to a team willing to take on Michael Redd’s contract. Cleveland? Portland? I don’t know.
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