The Milwaukee Bucks have slimmed their roster down to 16 players by trading Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica, and a 2015 second round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Jared Dudley and a 2017 first round pick. The Bucks made the deal official on Tuesday afternoon.
Ironically, the 2015 second round pick the Bucks will be sending to the Clippers was originally the Clippers’ pick. The Bucks acquired that pick in last year’s three team-deal with the Clippers and Suns that included J.J. Redick and Eric Bledsoe. The 2017 first round acquired by the Bucks will be lottery-protected.
This deal is undeniably a victory for the Bucks.Getting a first round pick this cheap is uncommon in the NBA. The Bucks got a major asset without giving up any significant talent.
Delfino, who signed a 2-year/$6.5 million to return to the Bucks last season, didn’t play a single game for Milwaukee in 2013-14 while he was recovering from a foot injury. Miroslav Raduljica appeared in 48 games for the Bucks, averaging 3.8 points 2.3 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game.
Jared Dudley, the most prominent player in the deal, is a 29-year old sharpshooting wing. Dudley, a seven-year league veteran, spent five prosperous years in Phoenix before being traded to the Clippers last season.
A good portion of Dudley’s numbers during his one-year stint with the Clippers last year were career lows for him, mostly due to his reduced role on a championship-contending team. In 2013-14 he averaged 6.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from three.
Dudley has 2-years and $8.5 million left on his contract, with an early termination option after next season.
An interesting tidbit on the newest Milwaukee Buck is that he’s actually on record saying he doesn’t want to be in Milwaukee. In an interview with ESPN LA last year after he was traded to the Clippers, Dudley said: “I was happy because you always want to have Steve to have a chance to win. [Los Angeles is] close to Phoenix, and if you’re going to leave a franchise where you have that emotion, you want to go to a big-time franchise. If he had gone to the Knicks, I would have been happy. That’s the thing for me, I don’t want to s— on a team, but I didn’t want to go to Milwaukee. You want to go to a team that has history and prestige, and L.A. was a perfect fit.”
Things can change, but this was just a year ago. We’ll have to watch closely as to what exactly the Bucks’ plans for Dudley are. He undoubtedly adds more depth at shooting guard and is talented enough to have a prominent role and be an immediate contributor to Milwaukee. But obviously, it’s a hard situation to manage when a player doesn’t want to be on a team (i.e. Stephen Jackson, Caron Butler, etc.)
Dudley doesn’t seem like the kind of personality to make a scene out of an unfavorable situation. In fact, he is known as a “locker room guy”, which is the basketball cliché for a player who helps keep order and positively influences his teammates off the court. That kind of presence is one that this young Bucks team (who had multiple reported locker room incidences last season) desperately needs.
Considering the circumstances, and presuming that he’ll likely be unhappy with his situation in Milwaukee, its up in the air whether or not Dudley will be able to sufficiently fulfill a leadership roll for the Bucks.
Milwaukee has at least one more move coming this off-season as they try to shed that roster number down to 15. They could always achieve that by trading Dudley to a contender in exchange for a pick, but that seems unlikely. Waiving Chris Wright‘s unguaranteed contract for next season may be the most logical move, but the Bucks appear reluctant to part ways with Wright. A move should be made and the final roster set within the next couple of weeks.
In other Bucks news, everyone’s favorite Bucks beat writer Gery Woelfel sees good things for John Henson this season.
Based on what I’m hearing, that weight and strength John Henson added should pay off as the Bucks opening-game starting center. — Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) August 26, 2014
John Henson has spent the vast majority of his summer in Milwaukee working out, so it should be no surprise for anyone if he takes on a bigger role. Larry Sanders is also expected to make his return to the floor for Milwaukee this season (barring any off-court incidents), so we should have an interesting battle between the two for the starting center position.
Speaking of centers, former Bucks big man Ekpe Udoh met with the Clippers today. The two parties have been reported as having mutual interest.
In other Clippers news, I’m told free agent big man Ekpe Udoh is on a visit in Clipper Land today. — Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 26, 2014