Less than two years into his coaching career, Milwaukee head coach Jason Kidd has already established himself as one of the most admired coaches in the NBA. After Thursday's trade deadline deal that brought Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee to the Bucks, that trend seems to be continuing.
All three newly acquired players were introduced inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday afternoon and are looking forward to playing for the 10-time all-star and future Hall-of-Famer.
"It's just a whirlwind," Plumlee said, "we (he and Ennis) knew there were a lot of possibilities, but I don't think anybody knew anything for sure."
"To play under somebody like coach Kidd is a dream come true for me." Carter-Williams said. "I watched him play when I was younger and even before I knew I was coming here, I said to a lot of people that I try to emulate my game after his. I'm really happy to be here."
Carter-Williams will take over for the Bucks at point guard once he returns from a toe injury he suffered at the beginning of the month. He missed Philadelphia's last three games before the break, but the second-year guard from Syracuse believes he's feeling much better now that the break is over.
"I'm feeling good." he said. "I'm going to try to get out there as soon as I can and I hope that's in a short time.
"It is going to be different, and I'm excited for it. I believe I'm a winner, and I've won pretty much my whole life. This last year and a half has been a struggle (in Philadelphia) and it's something I've had to go through. I always believed brighter days were ahead of me while going through that process. I think those brighter days start now."
Ennis sat behind Phoenix's three-guard rotation of Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe during the first half of his rookie season. The 20-year-old from Syracuse played a stint in the D-league but averaged just seven minutes in eight NBA games this season for Pheonix. Coming to Milwaukee -- a team that lacked guard depth heading into the deadline after a season-ending injury to Kendall Marshall -- gives him a fresh opportunity to play for a man he crafted his game after growing up.
"I'm thankful for Phoenix and I learned a lot there," Ennis said, "I think with the point guard situation they had at the time, I don't think I had the best shot to prove myself there. This is an opportunity and new beginning for me so, I want to go out there and show what I can do.
"I modeled my game after coach Kidd my whole life. I'm a pass-first point guard who's looking to come in and make plays. We have a lot of guys who can score and a lot of guys who can finish at the rim, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there and utilizing that."
At 6-foot-11, 255 pounds, Plumlee brings strength and size inside for a shorthanded Bucks team that will probably be without center Larry Sanders the rest of the season. Plumlee's younger brother, Mason, played for Kidd last season in Brooklyn, and he passed a small portion of advice to him about what it's like to play in his system.
"A little bit," Plumlee said, "I know he loved playing for him. He told me that I'd love it too. Obviously, Mason succeeded at the rim so I have high hopes."
The Bucks face the Denver Nuggets tonight in Milwaukee looking to win their fourth straight game and seventh in a row at home. All new additions are prepared to help Kidd's 30-23 team push for the postseason with the second half of basketball underway. Both Plumlee and Ennis will play tonight.
"I think it's exciting we're most likely going to be in the playoffs and contributing, I think we just want to come in and fit in and help out and get more wins. " Plumlee said.
"I'm not going to overdo it and step on anybody's toes," Carter-Williams said, "but at the end of the day I am the point guard. I do have some big shoes to fill in Brandon Knight, and he was really a leader on this team. I have to slowly become a leader for this team."