Giving grades for a teams draft picks is always stupid right after a draft, but we all do it anyways. The same could be said for free agent moves as we do not know how a guy will fit in or if that nagging injury he had on his previous team was much more serious than anyone let on. In a lot of ways it just as much of a crap-shoot as the draft. But it is the summer and it is really entertaining to look at this stuff, the Bucks did not sit back andfor that reason alone I applaud them, but I give them a second applause with the moves they have made thus far. (I say thus far because I would be willing to bet they bring in a veteran point guard to backup Brandon Jennings.)
Coming into this off season I had no idea what to expect, if John Hammond could make the impact he made last year with no cap space I figured he could do a lot with even a little room. When we get Redd off the books next year Hammond will be able to do even more. The trust of the fan base in Hammond at this point is a great thing in sports, we now believe in every move he makes. He could trade anybody on the roster outside of Brandon Jennings and all Bucks fans would nod their head, “Good Move, Hammond knows what he is doing.” The state of Wisconsin has not had this much faith in one of its GMs since Ron Wolf built the Packers into an NFL power, and Wolf had some really crappy drafts. Once you get our faith you have to do a ton wrong before we turn on you, A TON!
There has to be a scale we can go back to for comparison. Player, contract, and other conditions come into play, if Joe Johnson had signed on with a contender for less than the max that would have been a really good deal. The Wolves signing Luke Ridnour when they already have Ramon Sessions, Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn gets an F, and that has nothing to do with the player and everything to do with the fact that they are insane!
Joe Johnson getting a MAX deal and becoming the highest paid free agent: D
Miami Heat adding Lebron James for less than the max: A
Corey Maggette: The Bucks traded away Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric for Corey Maggette. The Bucks get Maggette, a player who can create his own shot and get to the line, something the Bucks lacked in both areas. And they got Maggette for two guys eating up cap and floor time, Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell. Maggette can be a black hole on offense but in a recent interview with GM John Hammond, he stated that can be the price you pay with guys that can do some of the things Maggette can do. The Bucks really need another player that can force the action off the dribble, it should open up spot up shooters and make things a little easier down low for Andrew Bogut. I really like the move. GRADE B+
Chris Douglas Roberts(CDR): The Bucks gave away a 2nd rounder for CDR. I love this move. During the draft a couple years ago I was hoping they would take CDR but did not, it worked out with Mbah ah Moute but I still always liked CDR. He is a crafty scorer and a lengthy defender on the perimeter. He can create his own shot which is a valuable skill. Considering we gave up just a 2nd rounder for a guy who CAN play in this league instead of throwing a 2nd rounder at a prospect we HOPE can make it the move looks even better. GRADE B
John Salmons: The Bucks resigned Salmons, 5 years $40 million. When Salmons opted out, and the Bucks signed Gooden, most of us Bucks fans thought Salmons was as good as gone. Especially when we considered the trades that brought in Maggette and CDR, we thought they were made to protect us from Salmons leaving. Nope, the guy who saved the Bucks chances last year did not leave. Great Move. GRADE A
Drew Gooden: The Bucks acquired Gooden through free agency, 5 years $32 million. Some think the Bucks payed too much, I say they needed toughness inside to help Bogut out. The Bucks need a banger inside and Gooden provides that, he has been a double-double guy for most of his career. He has been moved a lot, 9 teams in 9 years but that can be based on several factors which are not really bad. Gooden has always been good enough for the trading team to want him and he has always had a reasonable contract. When you are affordable and worth getting in a deal, you get moved. The Bucks have wanted Gooden for a couple of years, in John Hammond I trust. Good move. GRADE B
Ersan Illyasova, Luc Mbah ah Moute: Moves they didn’t make. Two important role players who are both young and will also benefit from last years playoff experience. If either player would have been involved in one of the trades I would have been very disappointed. Nope, the Bucks are keeping their young core together with Bogut and Jennings. GRADE A
Larry Sanders: The rookie is turning heads in the summer league and at the very worst can give the Bucks a defensive boost coming off the bench. At least more than Dan Gadzuric could give. This is still incomplete but just for the fact I will get to see Sanders on the court in a backup role instead of Gadzuric, GRADE B+