Welcome back to the Brew Hoop Round Table, where we ask that everybody use coasters and please don’t feed the pugs from the table, thanks. Today, we come together to process our response to the Milwaukee Bucks trade of Greg Monroe and a pair of picks for Phoenix Suns exile Eric Bledsoe.
As always, what was your immediate reaction to the trade?
Greg: It was a sigh of relief that no core pieces are future Arizona residents.
Rachael: Waiting for Woj to tweet out who the Bucks gave up was absolutely terrifying. I was convinced we had lost Malcolm. I did enjoy Moose (and his “AND ONE” screams), but I’m incredibly relieved we didn’t lose other key pieces or younger players. I’m happy, excited, and optimistic!
Kyle: I was surprised that the trade actually happened; it had been talked about for so long it was starting to not seem possible. I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting Monroe to be traded, but I am glad to see Thon and Brogdon were not in the deal.
Adam: I presumed nothing would get done, but Horst and co. were able to procure a guard that looked sorely needed after the deflating minutes we’ve seen go to several second-rate backcourt players, everyone knows who I’m talking about. Not having to fork over guys like Brogdon and Thon made this a viable deal in my mind for Milwaukee.
Mitchell: I was simply ecstatic. Monroe will be missed, but Eric Bledsoe is the kind of player that helps raise the overall level of talent on the Bucks’ roster, and supporting talent was one of the Bucks’ biggest opportunities to improve in the short-term.
Eric Bledsoe: 6-foot-1 with a 6-foot-7.5 wingspan. Sounds about right for the Milwaukee Bucks | https://t.co/EYWU9QlUZc— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) November 7, 2017
How much does this trade help the Bucks now?
Greg: The ESPN Trade Machine notes that this trade does not significantly affect the Bucks’ winning percentage, but I believe it helps a lot. Having Brogdon and Snell move down a peg in the scoring option hierarchy will alleviate pressure on them and adds more bullets to the gun, so to speak. Also having Brogdon be the secondary PG means less Matthew Dellavedova, which is great.
Adam: ESPN’s RPM statistic has always been pretty darn kind to Monroe so I’m not surprised their internal stats are a little tepid on how this helps Milwaukee. Like most everyone else here, it’s more about pushing players down rungs at this point than moving Milwaukee up considerably higher. Bledsoe brings another ball handler to the mix in crunchtime, something Kidd is enamored with, which means Delly should see little time down the stretch.
Rachael: Getting Bledsoe means less minutes for Delly. This is wonderful. Bledsoe also averaged 21.1 points last season, and 20.4 PPG back in the 2015-2016 season. Any scoring contribution he can give us is very much welcomed (and needed).
Kyle: It is a big help for the Bucks right now. The Bucks have an athletic guard who can handle some of the speedy guards. It gives the team a playmaker that it sometimes lacks when Giannis and/or Khris isn’t clicking, plus this either puts Brogdon on a second unit or less Delly both of which are a really good thing for the Bucks.
Good deal for Bucks if it goes through, though it would complicate cap/tax situation for next season. May need to use another pick to dump $— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 7, 2017
On the other hand, is this a bad “win now” move? What’s the downside?
Greg: The Bucks cap sheet is now even more razor thin for next season. The limited financial flexibility will be a headache down the road. That’s the risk you take in a “win now” trade though.
Rachael: I wouldn’t say it’s a bad move, because clearly things have not been clicking so far this season. Something needed to change. I’m okay with taking this risk, and would prefer to be blissfully ignorant to future cap space ramifications.
Kyle: This isn’t the same win now moves Bucks fans are used to with the Herb Kohl era; but giving up a first round pick is a risky decision.
Adam: First round picks are always valuable, but the chances of Milwaukee acquiring anyone within the (likely) 15-22 draft range who could have the same sort of impact as Eric Bledsoe is very marginal. This calculation method is admittedly simple (PPG+APG+RPG) but it shows the difficult chances of even getting role players within that area. The downside will be balancing their contracts going forward obviously, which will require careful calculation and some big player evaluation decisions in the near future for the front office.
Bledsoe had Milwaukee on top of his list of places he wanted to go to - looking forward to playing with the Greek Freak and go to playoffs— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) November 7, 2017
Do you have any worries about the center position, now that Moose is gone?
Greg: Yeah losing Moose hurts because Thon Maker and John Henson have been less than adequate in Monroe’s absence thus far. Two-way man Joel Bolomboy might see some time on the roster as a depth piece.
Rachael: My biggest concern is rebounding; specifically the Bucks habit so far this season of giving up offensive rebounds. Moose was a big body who knew how to utilize his size and strength in the paint — something neither Thon nor Henson have mastered.
Kyle: John Henson has had stretches where he looks unmotivated and bad after having a small streak of looking competent. Hopefully that doesn’t happen this year but it really is putting a lot on him and Thon to make a jump. The rebounding with Monroe was always poor despite his decent raw numbers so nothing new there.
Adam: Watching guys like Steven Adams and Andre Drummond eat the last few games was disheartening, but the league is moving away from guys like Moose. Teams will occasionally beat up on Milwaukee, but their center position is future-focused even if it seems like a puny middle-school front line at the moment.
I like the deal, but trading picks is always dangerous. https://t.co/vGcGLUr8Ct— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 7, 2017
Grade it: give us your grade for both teams for this trade.
Greg: B+/A-. Losing a serviceable front court option could create more problems, but adding Bledsoe as a 2a/2b scoring option with Khris Middleton is wonderful. I will be interested to see how Jason Kidd utilizes Bledsoe within the rotations and scheme. Kidd could sink this grade.
Rachael: Bucks get an A, Suns get a B. The fact that we didn’t lose a starter is huge. Part of me had been wondering if Monroe was truly okay with his role of coming off the bench. I hope he is happy with whatever role he ends up having with Phoenix. The Suns are in rebuild mode and still have a very long way to go.
Kyle: B+ for both teams. Milwaukee gets a legit second option on the team and fixes the guard position on a team that was severely lacking. Phoenix still gets a first round which isn’t bad for a player who had little to no value.
Adam: B+ for Bucks, B for Suns. Phoenix got two picks and a serviceable center for a guy who wasn’t even with the team. That’s a fine return. Milwaukee got rid of a big man who likely wasn’t in their future and added talent at the franchise’s most talent-depraved position over the last two decades. Losing first round picks is never ideal though, and the cap situation is going to be choppy.