Get up off the floor Bucks fans, it's been over 12 hours since the news hit.
The Milwaukee Bucks swung the first blockbuster trade of the 2012 deadline, sending Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and the injured and expiring Kwame Brown. In the short-term, this is a trade of two non-contributing pieces for a pair of players who can immediately improve (hopefully) the team. In the long-term, it clears the Bucks' balance sheet wonderfully, but also positions them with an imbalanced "core" of players that might not be capable of sustained success.
John Hammond apparently recognizes that imbalance, and reports have emerged to suggest the Bucks are still exploring other trade opportunities. The Bogut trade creates more logjams at the PF spot and in the backcourt, making a few of the Bucks' rotational pieces the most likely targets.
Beno Udrih's contract makes moving him difficult, and there have been inklings of his desire to opt out after this season to seek more playing time elsewhere. With Ellis in the fold, playing time likely just got harder to come by. As such, a player like Shaun Livingston is most likely to be headed out, though his value has decreased significantly from the days when he was starting and playing quite well. Still, he's a relatively young guy with size for his position and a definitive skill set.
As for power forward, well, take your pick. The newly-acquired Ekpe Udoh probably has the highest upside of any of them, short of maybe Ersan Ilyasova if his current pace is the new norm. But Udoh's value lies almost entirely in defense right now, and he might be more effective at center for the time being (especially considering the Bucks sudden lack of depth there). Luc Mbah a Moute is still a valuable piece, especially to a potential contender, thanks to his lockdown perimiter defense, but his recent knee injuries are likely to give any acquiring team "pause". Larry Sanders could be seen as redundant next to Udoh, but the two could also provide quite the defensive PF/C pairing if they can bulk up a bit. And Jon Leuer isn't going anywhere--not on my watch.
You get the feeling that, if the Bucks were willing to trade their franchise cornerstone, they're open to just about anything at this point. The good news is that they boast substantial depth to flip for future assets while maintaining the apparent push for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. Future assets are what many (most?) hoped they could turn Bogut into, so here's hoping Hammond still has some magic in mind. Pun not intended.
And now a whole mess of reactions to the big deal:
What to make of Monta Ellis, Andrew Bogut trade | ESPN (Hollinger, ESPN Insider-only)
What is your opinion of the Bucks' trade of Andrew Bogut?
Love it (198 votes)
Like it (221 votes)
Haven't decided (114 votes)
Don't like it (63 votes)
Hate it (56 votes)
652 total votes