The Bucks’ Youth Movement: Too Much of a Good Thing?


It’s no secret the Milwaukee Bucks have undergone a significant transformation in the way of youth, but the organization went too far when it bled out two quality veterans in the process.

More from Bucks News

It appears as though the Bucks are so caught up in their quest to feature the youngest team possible, that they forgot what makes a complete team.

A complete team requires more than just an above average core. It’s also stacked with veteran presence that guides it in the right direction when needed.

Every team experiences ups and downs throughout the course of a long and sometimes tedious season. Even the great ones experience ruts along the way, but one of the things that allows those teams to be great is their consistency.

Veterans demand consistency, because they know how important it is to a team’s success. Consistency is the difference between a good team making the leap to a great team.

Any team can be beaten on any given night, but the teams that consistently show up no matter the circumstances truly display the DNA of a champion.

No team has ever won a championship without at least a little adversity.

Quality veterans help steer those champions through that adversity. It’s what makes them so valuable, and that’s without taking into account their on-court contributions.

Veterans ooze consistency. They also know the importance of developing it at an earlier age, because consistency is one of the few things outside of skill that will allow one to continue to play in this league.

A great team doesn’t happen overnight, but veteran leadership can certainly speed up the process. They set the building blocks in place to allow something special to take place.

Jan 22, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) looks to shoot between Milwaukee Bucks center Zaza Pachulia (27) and guard Jared Dudley (9) during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

All that being said, the Bucks have rid themselves of two of the best in the league in that category. Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley provide the type of value that goes beyond the basketball court.  

Analytics cannot quantify the effect their leadership has had on the Bucks. Statistics can’t measure what Pachulia and Dudley brought to the table, at least not completely.

That didn’t seem to matter when Pachulia was expedited to the Dallas Mavericks for a future second round pick on July 10 to replace what was supposed to be DeAndre Jordan.

The Bucks also agreed to ship Dudley to the Washington Wizards for a future second round pick on July 2 during the moratorium process following Paul Pierce‘s departure. The transaction became official on July 9.

That’s exactly what these trades were, transactions. They were unnecessary and financially driven. These transactions didn’t make the Bucks better, and I’d be curious to find someone who would argue otherwise.

I understand a $5.2 million trade exception was created for Pachulia and a $4.25 million trade exception was created for Dudley, but that was exceptional value given their total package.

It’s also worth noting trade exceptions cannot be combined. If the Bucks felt their lack of cap space was that big of an issue, then moving O.J. Mayo would have made the most sense.

Greivis Vasquez was brought in to solidify the guard rotation anyway. The same rotation that will eventually see Mayo replaced.

In the end, the Bucks will only receive the Mavericks 2018 second-round pick and the Wizards 2020 second-round pick if they fall outside the top-55.

You read that right. The picks are top-55 protected. Just for the record there are only 60 selections in an NBA Draft.

I don’t even care about the picks but come on. The Bucks could have done better than that if both of these guys were going to be foolishly moved anyway.

Apr 1, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (22) during the game against the Chicago Bulls at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Milwaukee won 95-91. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

You never know what a second-round pick can turn into. Let’s not forgot not too long ago Khris Middleton was taken No. 39 in 2012.

The second round is also a great time to stash away European projects like Marc Gasol who went No. 48 in 2007.

Not surprisingly, the Bucks are now looking for a veteran to fill out the roster though.

Jason Kidd has recently gone on record saying the team is still looking at a veteran shooter to come in and knock down some shots because they struggled in that area last year.

At the same time Kidd doesn’t want anybody to come in and take minutes away from the young guys. That certainly sounds like Kidd wants it both ways.

Too bad it doesn’t work that way. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Dudley a veteran shooter who is more than capable of coming in and knocking down shots?

Dudley is a career 40 percent three-point shooter and a corner specialist. He’s the type of guy that always seems to be in the right spot for a kick out three.

I also don’t believe that bringing in Greg Monroe makes Pachulia expendable. If anything, Pachulia coming off the bench would make the Bucks one of the deeper teams in the league.

Is Miles Plumlee going to fill that role? Plumlee may turn out to be a solid player, but he certainly won’t make up for the Pachulia loss.

John Henson will look to step up and take most of the minutes Pachulia left behind, but the Bucks still lost a guy that really knew how to play the game. There were enough minutes to go around to make it work.

It’s hard to discount what the new regime has done to this point. A quick turnaround and a bright future has a lot of people excited about this team for the first time, but the organization’s quest for an entirely young team leaves them incomplete as of right now.

Next: Jabari Parker's Top 10 Rookie Highlights

More from Behind the Buck Pass