Once again: what was your exact reaction when you found out?
Mitchell Maurer: Well, I got home early from work, and Twitter is all atwitter about the Bucks making a deal, and I think “Oh, here we go, I’m disconnected all day when something big happens...” And then I read that the Bucks traded for Michael Beasley, a scoring combo-forward who does NOT play a guard position, and I lashed out on Twitter and Corey made fun of me and I was very confused. In other news, I am not super-great at controlling my reactions to things that confuse me.
Eric Buenning: I was really confused until I saw the reports that this trade talk had happened in advance of the Middleton injury. So now I am not confused.
Corey Gloor: I’ve come out of Brew Hoop hibernation this week because of the absurd roller coaster ride this franchise has gone on over the last few days. I was joyous. I was crushed. I’m STILL crushed. And today, I’m confused! It’s Michael Beasley! It’s a name that basketball fans can’t say without rolling their eyes at the same time. I vented to a few co-workers, who proceeded to laugh at me (they’re not Bucks fans). Then I made fun of Mitchell.
OK, let’s be serious: does this in any way, shape, or form change anything for the Bucks this year?
MM: Probably not, if we’re being honest. Beasley can score, which is a good basketball skill, and the Bucks just lost their best scorer. Of course, Beasley is not going to play Khris Middleton’s minutes (even if he might come close to Khris’ FG attempts), so it’s kind of not a big deal.
EB: No, but I don’t think Tyler Ennis was changing anything either.
CG: I mean, his volume scoring ability will be beneficial at times, but he has one strength to his game. The weaknesses outweigh that strength, however, and that strength isn’t strong enough to win additional games.
FM: There will likely be some nights where his offense can help buoy the second unit, but in the grand scheme I don’t think it’s moving the dial in terms of wins and losses.
Is giving up Tyler Ennis for a guy like Beas a good or bad move?
MM: Ennis wasn’t really doing much here as it was, so it’s nice to see him get an opportunity elsewhere. They’re both very low salaries, and it at least gives more breathing room for Vaughn and Brogdon.
EB: It gets a little sticky here. Ennis was a young (but questionable) asset and was swapped for a score-first, wing-forward guy with questions outside his bucket getting skill. I’d imagine that the Bucks didn’t just bring Beasley one without crowdsourcing (read: talked with Rockets teammate Jason Terry) first, so maybe there’s not much to get #madonline over. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.
CG: It’s pretty neutral. If Ennis hadn’t won over Kidd by this point, it was never going to happen. There were plenty of opportunities for Ennis to make a dent last season and it never occurred. That, and it should be NBA law that teams are only required to have one Syracuse guard on their roster.
FM: I wasn’t necessarily bullish on Ennis’ future in Milwaukee -- he had a lot of competition and I’m not sure he was going to separate himself from, say, Malcolm Brogdon — but he looked decent after the break last year and I think he could be a solid backup at some point. Is that worth much in the NBA these days? Tough to say, though he’s one less guy the Bucks could pedal as an asset in a bigger deal involving someone like Monroe. Not that they haven't spent the better part of the last year trying to do just that...
Does Michael Beasley somehow fill a need on the roster? What’s his role going to be?
MM: This is my biggest gripe with the deal. Beasley is best suited to play the SF/PF positions with the ball in his hands on offense (so he can score, duh). The Bucks don’t really need a guy like that, at least I never thought that they did. I can’t imagine that he starts in Middleton’s place: I see Beasley playing maybe 15 mpg until he figures out how to not be a net-negative on defense (which he almost certainly will be). He’ll do some zany things, though, which is ALWAYS necessary.
EB: He won’t be hesitant to try and score, which is useful in a vacuum. Said vacuum is where I think Beasley will function, coming off the bench as a 3 or 4 and providing
something behind Giannis and The Ghost of Khris Middleton.
CG: The Bucks have more than enough at the SF/PF spots, so adding one another one to the mix is already a problem. Then you realize that all Beasley does is score, eating possessions in the process. He doesn’t pass. He doesn’t rebound. He doesn’t defend. He’s Bobby Simmons with no outside jumper. This is fine. It’s all fine.
FM: Maybe? My biggest concern is that I already preferred bringing Greg Monroe and MCW of the bench, and now all of a sudden we’re adding Michael Beasley to that equation as well. That doesn't really feel like a winning lineup, does it? If the idea is that he’ll be an occasional sparkplug who plays once a week, then OK, that’s cool. At worst he’s not adding less value than Ennis likely would have, and he's cheap enough that you could just waive him if things don't work out.
That said, he’s also the first guy the Bucks have added this summer who doesn’t make any of the Bucks’ core guys better; especially given the Bucks’ long playoff odds at this stage, it feels like mostly a shrug-worthy move. His biggest value would probably come if the Bucks lost Jabari, Giannis, or Teletovic for an extended period, though at that point you're just jockeying for a lottery spot anyway. The cynic in me is already excited for the inevitable, "Why is Beasley getting PF minutes over Thon?!?!” arguments of March 2017.