In & Out: Recapping the Bucks' busy trading day

Are we done yet? I think so. 

Two trades in the span of 24 hours sees four players shipped out and three players (and three 2nd round picks) heading to Milwaukee.  No huge names in or out, but for the most part John Hammond made the Bucks somewhat better today without making them any worse in the future.  In general I'd say that's a good thing, or at the very least not a bad thing.  A quick recap: 

In: John Salmons, Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, 2010 2nd (via Philly), 2011 2nd (via Chicago), 2012 2nd (via Chicago), right to trade 2010 1st rounders with Chicago (top 10 protected).

Out: Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander, Jodie Meeks, Francisco Elson

In the end, the Bucks managed to add a likely starter in Salmons--perhaps not saying that much given Charlie Bell has been starting at SG--as well as three future second round picks.  The only real cost was the as-yet-unrealized potential of 2009 second rounder Meeks, who struggled to find the golden shooting touch he showed at Kentucky and had barely played since the arrival of Jerry Stackhouse.  He may yet turn into a useful NBA player, but that will largely depend on whether he can get comfortable as a shooter without big minutes (easier said than done).  Thanks to their tolerance for Salmons' 10/11 salary, the Bucks lost little in the way of rotation players, especially considering that Warrick (for better or worse) has seen his playing time evaporate over the past month. 

Overall the Salmons deal is the one that matters, and Charles Gardner talked to Scott Skiles about it earlier today:

"I don't think there's anything spectacular about his game," Skiles said of Salmons. "He shoots the ball well and it shoots it well from three. He leads their team in steals this year; he mixes in three or four assists.

"He can post up a little bit. There's a lot of different things he can do. He's a guy with size as well. The last two years we've been playing with a lot of small guards.

"And he's shown the ability to play the 2 and the 3 (small forward)."

The major question now is whether the Bucks have enough depth at power forward.  Warrick was no longer getting regular minutes since Luc Mbah a Moute moved to the starting PF, so when everyone's healthy the Bucks should be able to cope with Ilyasova and Mbah a Moute.  The Bucks will however miss Warrick's athleticism around the hoop and ability to score in spurts, even if his lack of defense had cost him Skiles' confidence.

The most notable non-mover is Luke Ridnour, whose career season made him the Bucks' best expiring asset.  It's difficult to say what the Bucks might have been able to get for Ridnour--especially with the Knicks using Jordan Hill/1st rounder to get Tracy McGrady--but the Bucks likely viewed Ridnour as too important to their playoff push to let go without a major return.  Kurt Thomas is also still the Bucks' backup center, just 24 hours after he was initially rumored to be part of the Salmons deal.

In case you're wondering, below is the Bucks' updated cap situation in spreadsheet form.  Note that I'm including a 2010 first round pick salary slot, which would bring the Bucks' total roster spots to 10.  The fat all comes off in 2011, but be aware that the "space below cap" figure doesn't include cap holds for free agents (like Salmons and Mbah a Moute), potential draft picks, and roster holds needed to get to 12.  Still, there will be plenty of room to spend on free agents--for better or worse.

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