I do not understand the national media’s response to the Bucks’ summer. A good example of how folks outside of Wisconsin view the Jefferson trade and loss of Villanueva is Yahoo’s team report for the Bucks:
"NBA officials are still baffled as to why Bucks general manager John Hammond didn’t even extend a qualifying offer to veteran F Charlie Villanueva. Villanueva was coming off a quality season and he’s still only 24 years old. What’s more, the Bucks have a dearth of reliable power forwards on their roster. Villanueva ended up signing a contract with the Detroit Pistons.
Bucks owner Herb Kohl has a reputation of sometimes meddling in the team’s player personnel decisions. Some observers felt Kohl may have been behind the Bucks’ recent decision to trade veteran small forward Richard Jefferson to San Antonio for virtually nothing (Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto, the last of whom was then traded to Detroit for Amir Johnson). But Bucks general manager John Hammond said Kohl didn’t mandate any salary dump and that it was strictly his call to make the trade and open up more "options" for the team."To those that have actually been following the Bucks, these moves aren’t “baffling”, they are shrewd basketball decisions based on the Bucks’ unenviable position as a lottery team that is near the luxury tax threshold. Many at BrewHoop even suggested similar moves as the best we could hope for. These are the steps towards building a better team, and yet we get no respect at all.
Also, I don’t get why it is that players are suddenly seen as better as soon as they leave Milwaukee. Mo left and became an All Star after putting up similar numbers on a better team. Jefferson leaves and suddenly he’s not a one dimensional player whose injuries and regression made him prematurely over-the-hill, he’s a versatile defender and offensive dynamo who makes the Spurs “younger” and a “contender”. Now Joe Dumars is being hailed by some as a genius for signing Charlie V. I guarantee you that if the Bucks had matched, they would be lambasted for overpaying a defensive seive. The double standard, that implies that not currently successful small market teams inherently suck, is really starting to get to me.