What began as a report from Gery Woelfel that the Bucks had a deal in place for the 7th pick has evolved into something else entirely. After a slew of conflicting info went across the wire this afternoon, it now appears the parameters of a three-way trade between the Bucks, Bobcats and Kings are in place. Chad Ford tweets:
Corrected deal: Bucks get Beno, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston & 19. Bobcats get pick 7 & Maggette. Kings get 10 & John Salmons.
For the cost of moving down nine spots in the draft, the Bucks would rid themselves of the significant salary obligations of Corey Maggette ($21 million guaranteed through 2013) and John Salmons ($25 million through 2014) in exchange for the combustible Stephen Jackson ($19 million through 2013), Beno Udrih ($14 million through 2013) and Shaun Livingston ($3.5 million next year, NG'ed $3.5 million the following season). That's a saving of around $9 million in guaranteed terms for three players rather than two. And given Maggette's inability to get minutes under Skiles last season, I'd argue it's a more efficient use of cap space as well.
Jackson won't do much to help the Bucks' scoring efficiency, but he's an intense (sometimes too much so) competitor who plays both ends of the floor and will gladly use up some of the possessions vacated by Salmons and Maggette. Meanwhile, Udrih nicely fills the Luke Ridnour combo scoring role that the Bucks lacked a year ago. A good pick and roll operator, he shot an exceptional 49.3% and 50.0% from the field the past two seasons and can keep defenses honest with his jump shot from both mid-range (43-44% four straight years) and three (37.7% and 35.7% past two years). Perhaps not coincidentally, he also averaged 21.0 ppg against the Bucks over the past two seasons. Livingston is the x-factor, a lanky 6'7" pure point guard whose once-promising career has been largely derailed by injuries. Should he stick around, the 25-year-old's size and ability to distribute would give the Bucks a different look from any of the other PGs on the roster, and both he and Udrih could see ample time at the off guard as well.
Also of note: adding Udrih and Livingston to a back court that already included Brandon Jennings and Keyon Dooling means the Bucks now have four point guards on their roster. We know Scott Skiles likes playing two point guards at once, but you have to guess at least one of them will likely be dealt before the Bucks play their next game.
While the Bucks will be happy with the veterans moved in the deal, they did have to pay the price of moving down in the draft, something that's been discussed for the past week. Evidently the Bucks don't see a huge gap between the players available at #10 and #19, but only time will tell. They've worked out a slew of guys who could end up at 19, including Marshon Brooks, Tyler Honeycutt, Tobias Harris, and Markieff Morris. Chad Ford's post-trade mock has the Bucks nabbing Brooks, which would make all the more sense given the Bucks' trade leaves them down a wing scorer. Another possibility is that the Bucks could still end up with Alec Burks, the one-time favorite at #10 who has been slipping down draft boards over the past week. Or they could simply be gearing up for yet another trade.