A Conversation on Filling the Milwaukee Bucks’ Last Roster Spot


Cole Brown:  Looking at the four free agents the Bucks brought in this week (Rasual Butler, Rodney Carney, Alando Tucker, and Marquis Daniels), the name that popped out most to me at first was former Wisconsin Badger Alando Tucker. Being a huge Wisconsin fan and a basketball writer for MadtownBadgers.com, I’ve followed Tucker’s disappointing career a bit over the years.

While injuries have plagued Tucker throughout his pro career, he made his NBA comeback last year playing for the Texas Legends of the D-League. He had a solid year too, starting 21 games and racking up 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in an average of 30 minutes a game.

Though Tucker is getting up in age at 28, it seems he’s got a shot to make an NBA roster sooner or later. However, I’m not so sure he’ll end up on the Bucks, with the depth they have at small forward. At 6’6″, 205 pounds, Tucker is mostly considered as a small forward, but if he shows significant improvement in ball handling and three-point shooting, he could fill the Bucks need at shooting guard. I think it’d be worth a shot to bring him in to camp if the Bucks like what they see this week.

There may be a player from the Bucks’ Tuesday and Wednesday workouts that is more likely to win that backup shooting guard spot, right Dakota?

Dakota Schmidt: Alando Tucker may be on the minds of many Bucks fans because of great college career in Wisconsin, but Marquis Daniels is on the top of my mind because of his nine years in the NBA. Now Marquis won’t ever be a scoring threat off of the bench like Mike Dunleavy, but his defensive prowess has given him big-time bench roles with both Boston and Indiana.

The problem, though, is that we really don’t need a defensive player off the bench with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on the roster.

Apr 26 2012; Boston, MA USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Tobias Harris (15) drives the ball against Boston Celtics shooting guard Marquis Daniels (4) in the second half at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics defeated the Bucks 87-74. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Could Marquis Daniels make an impact on this team coming off of the bench? Yes, but if we’re looking for a wing player than we’re most likely we’re looking for a guy that can shoot off of the bench which Marquis is not known for.

Do you think either Rasual Butler or Rodney Carney can fill that role, Cole?

Cole:  I agree that Marquis Daniels is the top free agent in town this week. I have to disagree with you on one point, though. I think the defensive play Marquis Daniels brings is exactly what the Bucks are looking for, even with LRMAM.

With so many great 1-2 punches in the NBA nowadays, adding another great defender couldn’t hurt one bit. Imagine Marquis Daniels and LRMAM matching up against Westbrook and Durant? Could be a great way to stop the offenses the Bucks had no chance of slowing down last season. Especially with two undersized, mediocre defenders in Jennings and Ellis, adding another bench defender does nothing but help in my opinion.

October 29, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Rodney Carney (25) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Clippers 109-91. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

To answer your question, I think we can basically take Rodney Carney out of this equation. After being waived by the Warriors early last year, Carney spent this year playing pro ball in China. Unless he shows the Bucks something incredible in these workouts, I think there’s virtually no shot of him even being invited to camp.

On the other hand, Rasual Butler possibly could find himself in the Bucks’ camp roster. At 33, he’s had a good amount of experience in the NBA, and he always seems to stick around. Last year with the Raptors, he played in 34 games and averaged about 3 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes of play. Not great numbers, but this young team could use a veteran at the end of the bench, and for that reason he could make the team. He won’t fill the bill at shooting guard, but his experiences could be valuable to the young guys on the team.

What are your thoughts on these two guys?

Dakota:The idea of using LRMAM and Marquis Daniels as a “secret defensive weapon” off the bench to guard some of the great duos in the NBA does excite me because the defense of the starting five is somewhat

lacking besides perhaps for Ilyasova and Samuel Dalembert.  Anyways an offensive improvement in Tobias Harris this season could go a long way toward making the worries of a lack of offense from the backup SFs and SGs go away

I agree with your statement about Rodney Carney being thrown out of the equation when it comes to these four potential Bucks because he hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2010-11 season and I just think that the NBA D-League is the place for him to go if he wants to have a job playing professional basketball in the U.S

January 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors small forward Rasual Butler (9) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Meanwhile I wouldn’t really mind if we gave Rasual Butler that last spot in this team because he’s been a productive player in this league since the ’09-’10 season when he was a starter with the Clippers in the pre-Griffin era so what role in particular would you want Butler to play?

In this link http://www.hoopsworld.com/2012-nba-free-agents/ is a list of the few remaining free agents left in mid-September and while the amount of wing players is low, there are still some interesting possibilities for players.

Cole: Like I said, I think Rasual Butler would bring a nice veteran presence to a young team. He could play a big part in keeping them grounded, while also being a safety net if either Ellis or Dunleavy go down.

Looking at the list of free agents, there’s one guy that sticks out to me:  Michael Redd. Yes, I know we said our goodbyes to him, but maybe it’s not a terrible idea to bring him back. You mentioned the Bucks are looking for another sharpshooter to fill the void left by Delfino, and Redd would be a great fit for that. With the Suns last year, Redd only played 15 minutes a game and averaged 8.1 points and shot 40%. While his three-point percentage is down, he still had a nice comeback season and could still be a productive player. If they could get him for the veteran’s minimum, it could be a useful signing.

Any guys that stuck out to you from that list?

Dakota: Are Bucks fans really ready to welcome Michael Redd back to Milwaukee? It’s going to be tough seeing him back in a Bucks jersey especially after hearing Bucks fans whine and complain about his poor defense and his massive contract. I think he would fit well as a bench player whose main role is to be shooter off of the bench, but I do think that there are other free agents still remaining that can fit the role better then Michael.

July 16, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Brazil guard Leandro Barbosa (10) dribbles the ball against the United States in the second half at Verizon Center. Team USA won 80-69. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

There are really only two types of players still remaining in free agency: oft-injured, aging, former All-Stars (Josh Howard, Redd, T-Mac) and 3-point specialists (Leandro Barbosa and Mickael Pietrus).  Personally, I lean toward the second, because we need that kind of player off the bench. Both Pietrus and Barbosa could be great fits, but I’d actually prefer Pietrus because having an undersized guy like Barbosa behind Ellis could cause problems against the bigger and stronger shooting guards in the league. Mickael Pietrus has been linked to the Bucks for some time now, but he would be at the top of my list because he’s a nice defender and a good shooter from behind the three-point line like I stated earlier.

So Cole, what’s your opinion on the guys I’ve mentioned, and would you rather stay the way we are or pursue one of these veterans?

Cole: I don’t think Leandro Barbosa really fits the Bucks need at this point. He’s a good shooter and playmaker, but like you said, size is the issue. The Bucks could really use a bigger guard behind Monta Ellis, and that’s why I’d love to see them pick up Pietrus. The veteran has been a solid contributor throughout his career and will gladly take on a bench role for the Bucks. He’s a sharp shooter and also a great defender, filling the two needs we’ve mostly talked about. Pietrus would also bring that valuable veteran role I talked about earlier.

The Bucks have had some talks with Pietrus already, and Pietrus’ agent said this about the Bucks’ interest in him: “We’re waiting to see what happens. Mickael would be interested in playing for Milwaukee, absolutely.” It sounds like Pietrus would be a great fit for the Bucks, which is why I’m puzzled neither side has pulled the trigger.

Dakota: Will the Bucks be able to pull the trigger to fit that backup SG/SF position or will the roster remain the same as we move closer to Opening Night? Stay tuned to Behind the Buck Pass all season long as we give you round-the-clock news and opinions about your favorite professional team in this great state of Wisconsin.