And order is restored.
Our first four polls have seen the Brew Hoop community kick off a quartet of youngish-to-quite-young players, and frankly, I've gone a bit nuts. But now, finally, a guy has been sent packing who we can all agree has absolutely no long-term value to this organization and won't do anything of consequence to help the team move forward on its path to glory. Except that he was actually quite good in his first two professional seasons and might be a pretty great fit for the team this year.
This is complicated.
Copeland was the overwhelming winner (loser?) in our last poll, taking over 60% of the votes. We're definitely getting into a new group of players now, having ditched the youngest, most uncertain guys on the roster. It's fair to expect the "productive veterans" will be chipped away at next.
Was Chris Copeland the right pick as first to go among his veteran compatriots? It's hard to say, but when you consider his salary in relation to what he might do on the court this season, Copeland looks like a decent value, especially in relation to higher-priced guys like O.J. Mayo and Greivis Vasquez. "Might," of course, being the most important word there.
Copeland debuted for the New York Knicks at age 28, then signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. In his first two seasons in the NBA, Copeland had a cumulative PER of 17.0 and a true shooting percentage of 59.2, per Basketball-Reference.com, albeit in very limited floor time. He was an effective floor-spacer, and while he was a bit of a ball-stopper (he used almost a quarter of his team's possessions while he was on the court), he turned the ball over very infrequently. His third season was very different. His shot abandoned him (particularly within three feet and behind the three-point arc) and his turnover rate ticked up. Even with a salary of just over $3 million, Copeland was dead money.
Depending on which guy shows up in Milwaukee, Copeland could be a great fit at a great price, or a lousy player at...a modest price. Does that uncertainty make him less valuable than somebody like Mayo, a player three years younger but with a well-established track record of decent-but-uninspiring play? What about in light of Mayo's salary, almost seven times higher than Copeland's?
That uncertainty seems to have worked against Copeland much in the way it dragged down the fringe prospects we voted off earlier (even if it was coupled with more "potential" in those cases). So while seeing the first over-30 player sent packing looks like a return to normalcy, there are still hallmarks of a changing fan mindset in the selection.
Milwaukee Bucks 2015 Roster Rankings
15. Johnny O'Bryant
14. Tyler Ennis
13. Damien Inglis
12. Miles Plumlee
11. Chris Copeland
Cast your vote for the next guy off Bucks Island below. Remember -- production, potential and salary all matter, though you can weigh them however much or little you like. Here's the Bucks' updated cap situation as a refresher: