Thus far Adrian Griffin has mostly been known as one of Scott Skiles' favorite binkies from Chicago, and we've previously wondered aloud why the Bucks would pay the 34-year old the handsome sum of $1.71 million to sit on the bench when his deal was non-guaranteed. Well, score one for rationality: Griffin has been cut and veteran power forward Austin Croshere was claimed off waivers on the eve of the Bucks' season opener.
Croshere provides the Bucks a reasonably mobile big off the bench that can occasionally hit threes (34% career), and while at 33 he's not someone you want playing extended minutes, he could certainly find his way into the rotation given the Bucks' complete lack of depth up front. Either way he's of more use than Griffin and costs less than half as much, so it's difficult to complain. The move also provides further evidence that Skiles and company have been less than thrilled with their PF rotation this preseason, which has consisted mainly of Charlie Villanueva, Malik Allen, and rookie combo forwards Joe Alexander (who's better suited to SF) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (who's also seen time at SG).
I'm not sure Croshere does anything the freshly-waived Matt Freije can't do for less money, but we all know the NBA hates young players who weren't lottery picks. So guys like Freije, Nick Fazekas, and Elton Brown will continue to be ignored when they have the potential to actually be decent role players. Fortunately, the Bucks will only be on the hook for $798k of Croshere's $1.26 million deal; as a veteran signing for the minimum, Croshere gets anything above the two year veteran's minimum paid for by the league. As a result, the Bucks save about $903k and are probably (ever so) slightly better on the court as well.
In other opener-related news, Gery Woelfel writes that Villanueva is likely to start tomorrow night alongside Andrew Bogut, who tested his perpetually sprained ankle today in practice. Meanwhile, Ramon Sessions may start in place of Luke Ridnour, who missed today's practice with back tightness. Sessions has been wildly inconsistent this preseason, but the irony is that a significant proportion of Bucks Nation would secretly (or not so secretly) like to see him get a shot at starting at some point anyway. Well, that chance may come sooner than expected.