BTBP Roundtable: No Regrets for the Milwaukee Bucks

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Nov 22, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd talks with guard Brandon Knight (11) during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Washington won 111-100. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jason Kidd said that it was a decision between Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight the Bucks had to make, not one between Knight and Michael Carter-Williams. Does that change your perception of the trade at all?

AM: Not in the slightest. I mean I’d prefer to be tied into Middleton than Brandon Knight long-term, but either way, I think I’ll always be in favor of the deal. I don’t feel like Brandon Knight was going to elevate this team to where it needed to be in the larger scheme of things, and that’s the end goal.

That’s the purpose of trades. Michael Carter-Williams may not ultimately be the point guard for this team going forward, but his addition was evidence of Hammond trying to make a positive change in line with the team’s identity. Middleton was already a fit, so I’m happy with choosing him over Knight also.

TW: It might make the trade a little easier to swallow, but I think it’s impossible to not compare MCW and Knight, no matter what Kidd says.

Even if it was a decision between keeping either Knight or Middleton, that doesn’t mean picking Middleton robs Knight of trade value. He was a valuable asset, and if Carter-Williams doesn’t turn out good then he was a wasted asset.

JT: Not at all because I think with Knight’s growing stock around the league as the season went on last year, the price to keep him was getting higher than the team and fans envisioned before the season as well as Khris Middleton’s, so it was clear (at least to me) that they felt they had a better chance of keeping/choosing Middleton after the trade.

JH: Brandon Knight:

-TRADITIONAL STATS: 20.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 3.0 turnovers per game.

-SHOOTING STATS: 44.8% from the field, 38.2% from three, and 81.5% from the line.

-ADVANCED STATS: ORating of 107, DRating of 100, 25.7% usage rate, 1.1 win shares, and 19.6 PER

Khris Middleton:

-TRADITIONAL STATS: 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers per game.

-SHOOTING STATS: 37.5% from the field, 42.9% from three, and 88.2% from the line.

-ADVANCED STATS: ORating of 102, DRating of 111, 19.1% usage rate, 0.3 win shares, and 11.1 PER

I’d say so far this season the decision to keep Middleton has been the right one. The Bucks team is built for Jabari, Giannis, and Moose to carry the offensive load (and in the future for Jabari and Giannis). Knight has a high usage rate and when he is on the floor the ball sticks in his hands.

He needs the ball to make plays. Middleton on the other hand does not need the ball to be effective. He is going through a slow start currently but his propensity to hit threes at a high percentage and not turn the ball over are much needed on this Bucks team.

Obviously, Knight has been the better player this season (so far) and that is indisputable. I do believe, however, that Middleton is helping the Bucks more than Knight could be right now and that the organization made the right decision.

MH: No.  Brandon Knight is a fun point guard to have and one that ends up on posters and gifs where it looks like he might actually have died on the court.  But he’s not the point guard that the Bucks need to advance Giannis’ and Jabari’s game, because he’s not a pass first point guard.

Will MCW be that point guard?  I honestly don’t know.  I’m pulling for him, but he’s been inconsistent as someone who should pass first and instead fancies himself as a primary option on this team.  I wish Brandon Knight the best, but I’m happy with Middleton and MCW.

DL: If the Bucks really felt that the decision was between keeping Knight or Middleton, it was the right call to trade Brandon Knight.

Knight was solid scorer who could get hot and carry the team on a good night. However, he was also turnover prone and had plenty of poor shooting nights to even out his good ones.

Unlike Knight, Middleton can impact the game on both sides of the ball. If Knight is having a poor game, he isn’t going to lock anyone down on defense. 

Middleton, on the other hand, can guard multiple positions and is one of the better perimeter defenders in the game today. Even in this early stretch, where he’s really struggled with his shot, he’s been able to impact games with his defense.

His value as a multi-position two way player gives the Bucks much more flexibility moving forward.

Next: The Final Starter