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, a few of us got together and have a quick conversation about the Milwaukee Bucks’ most recent swap of centers.
Exactly how much are you going to miss Miles Plumlee?
Mitchell: “Miss” is a strong word. I’m going to fondly remember the good times he had in a Bucks uni, and then remind myself that we don’t have to pay him $12.5 million over the next three years.
Adam: I’ll miss his nicely quaffed hair, his expressionless face on slam dunks, delighting in his moderate highs and bemoaning his deep valleys. So, not much.
Rachael: I’ll miss being able to tweet the “I feel it in my Plums” gif.
Between Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes, which one actually makes some sense for the Bucks?
Mitchell: Hawes is way more versatile on offense, including stretching the floor from the center spot. Hibbert is huge, but slow, and can’t really shoot. At his current price tag, I could see Hawes filling in some rotation minutes for Milwaukee. Hibbert’s defense would be great if it weren’t limited to only the 3 feet surrounding the rim.
Adam: Hawes for sure. He can kind of shoot, albeit not this year, and could help provide some spacing at the five when Giannis or Thon can’t bang with a bulky guy. Envisioning Hibbert shimmying around in this Bucks’ scheme reminds me of a bull trying to do ladder drills.
Rachael: They make sense from a money standpoint. The Bucks freed up cap space when getting rid of Plumlee’s large contract (4 year, $50 million) and bringing in Hawes, who has a player option next year. Hawes makes more sense on the court for the possibility of bringing in some more offense.
Do either Hibbert or Hawes have a shot at sticking around beyond this season?
Mitchell: I feel very strongly that this is a “no.” Hibbert is a no-brainer, given his expiring contract. Hawes is more questionable with his player option, but could he get more than $6 million on the open market? If not, would he get enough of an opportunity to drive his value up with Milwaukee? To both of those questions, my answer is “maybe.” But probably not...and that’s all considering that John Hammond doesn’t turn around and deal him again later.
Adam: Hibbert, absolutely not. Hawes potentially, but that’s only if he happens to opt into his player option, and even then I imagine Milwaukee would still hope to move him unless they lost Greg Monroe.
Rachael: Almost certainly not. Hibbert is just too slow to keep up with the young athletic roster, and the Bucks have struggled too much with centers to keep someone with such low production on both ends of the floor. Hawes feels very temporary to me as well. Obviously neither of these players are the answers to the Bucks’ struggles as of late.
There are now 5 centers on the team that are good enough to play. Discuss.
Mitchell: Oh, the rotation for the rest of this season is going to be a laugh-and-a-half. At least two of Thon, John Henson, Hibbert, and Hawes are going to get DNPs on any given night, with Maker seeming to be a priority for playing time (while also serving as one of the few players who has a pulse right now). And since I already spoke pretty kindly on Hawes earlier, I guess my question is this: between Hibbert and Henson, who will play less?
Adam: One-third of the Bucks’ roster is centers. That’s a ludicrous percentage, and there’s going to be an ample amount of DNP-Coach’s Decision to go around for the rest of the year. Hawes shooting gives him a leg up on Hibbert obviously, but it may come down to if either one of them is able to somehow clog up the exploding dam that is the Bucks’ defense right now. I think Henson will still see spot minutes as the season goes on (if he isn’t traded), but the Triple-HHH squad should get used to those bench chairs for this season.
Rachael: Sigh. One of my main issues with the Bucks is the rotations and minute allocation. Throwing in yet another center is only going to make things more complicated, with some players sitting out entire games (or multiple game stretches) and then trying to find a rhythm with an already changing rotation of guards. I can’t say I’m happy about having 5 centers.
How might this affect the development of Thon Maker?
Mitchell: I’ll tell you what, there are now a pair of new teammates that Thon will get to play against in practice, and both of those teammates are fairly large human beings. I can’t speak to the practice habits of Spencer Hawes or Roy Hibbert, but it can only be a good thing for Thon to be forced to deal with their versatility (Hawes) and size (Hibbert). That is, as long as he continues to see playing time in games.
Adam: Mitchell’s right that Thon could benefit from some banging in practice against bigger centers, but I doubt this will impact him extensively unless one of these guys start taking game minutes from him.
Rachael: Both Hibbert and Hawes have been in the league for about a decade each, with Hibbert being drafted 17th overall in the 2009 draft for the Raptors, and Hawes being drafted 10th overall for the Kings in 2008. With their experience, they should be able to pass some knowledge onto Thon. It’s also two more big bodies to practice with.
Rank ‘em, from most-likely to stick around next season to least likely: Thon, Monroe, Henson, Hawes, Hibbert.
Mitchell: Thon, obviously, then Henson (because I don’t see his contract moving anytime soon). I think Monroe likes it here, so I’ll put him in the middle, and then Hawes (outside shot of exercising his player option) and Hibbert (no way he stays).
Adam: I’d agree entirely with Mitchell’s assessment.
Rachael: I agree as well. Thon, Henson, Monroe, Hawes, Hibbert. However, I would greatly prefer to keep Monroe over Henson.