Tonight as I got into bed and turned on some late night ESPN to catch the latest news, I almost blew a gasket. Dwight Howard this, Dwight Howard that. I mean can the Milwaukee Bucks get any respect? Yes Dwight Howard was the biggest free agent this summer, and yes James Harden paired with him will make a great duo in Houston but why should I care? Teams with all the money and a large market can sign players like this and drastically improve their franchise in a hurry. This my friends, is something that the small market Milwaukee Bucks unfortunately cannot do.
The Milwaukee Bucks basically came into the 2013 off season with seven players under contract; let’s just say the team’s future didn’t look all too bright. Many fans wanted the Bucks to tank, rebuild, and get a high draft pick in the stacked 2014 draft. This however is something the Milwaukee Bucks can’t afford to do. The team needs a new arena soon, and to get this new arena they need to keep fans excited and coming back (Which is something a starless team can’t do). So what do the Milwaukee Bucks do you ask? They go out and sign a young but proven shooting guard in OJ Mayo, and a former buck Zaza Pachulia to back up center Larry Sanders. These signings weren’t talked about one bit by ESPN and many bloggers had negative things to say about them, but personally I think these two guys are great fits in Milwaukee. Mayo is a dynamic scorer and shooter with the size of an actual shooting guard, unlike Monta Ellis. This signing will not just offensively help the Bucks score, but it will also help a miserable 20thranked defense improve off of a rough 2012 season. Along with Mayo, Pachulia will also help upgrade the Lackluster defense by giving the Bucks a go to guy when Sanders is on the bench.
Growing up a Wisconsin boy, I have been a Milwaukee Bucks fan my whole life. Through the great years of the Big Dog, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, and the down years of YI Jianlian, and Joe Alexander (Sigh…) I have stuck true to my team and have always had faith. Without the money of the Lakers, or even the New York Knicks, the Bucks organization has worked their tails off year after year trying to get the right pieces into Milwaukee, but it just hasn’t fallen together.
As I look currently at the Milwaukee Bucks 2013 off season moves, my faith has been slowly rebuilt after a rough ending to the 2012 campaign. The Bucks used the 15th pick in the NBA draft on Greek forward Giannis Adetokunbo an extremely raw and young player with a skill and body set of Kevin Durant or Nicolas Batum, and their second round pick to acquire the 38th pick Nate Wolters a 6’4 guard out of South Dakota State. These picks have me excited because they bring optimism and a ton of upside and to the Bucks organization. Along with these picks and two recent signings the Bucks have also resigned forward Gustavo Ayon, traded a piece from the miserable Tobias Harris trade (JJ Reddick) to the Clippers for two second round picks, the team has also made in noteworthy that they will match any offer given to point guard Brandon Jennings in free agency. Many will disagree with the move of bringing Jennings back to Milwaukee, but I believe with the right coaching he can become a superstar in this league. So yes, I do have faith in the Milwaukee Bucks and there future endeavors.
Yes, many moves the bucks have made over the past seasons have made me scratch my head, but now I believe they are headed in the right direction. A direction that will possibly lead to stealing some of Dwight Howard’s time on Sportscenter, or even just allowing the franchise to fund the building of a new arena. John Hammond and new coach Larry Drew have a lot on their plates this off season, but with a few more smart decisions in the free agent market and a little luck with the new draft picks turning into solid rotation players, my beloved Milwaukee Bucks will be back on the Road to respectability in the near future. Watch out Dwight Howard.