Avoiding The Big Splash
There are multiple sides to the prospect of landing a “big fish”, particularly for a small market NBA team but timing is as important a factor as any.
The boost to interest, attendance and general good will around a team can do wonders for a team’s bottom line and have a knock-on effect to the confidence of the players on the court. All of that would be valuable to the Bucks in their current state, yet it has to be weighed against potential basketball impacts.
Over the past few months, varying degrees of reports and rumors have linked the Bucks to players like Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook. With an ownership group which is still relatively new and eager to leave a mark, that isn’t particularly surprising.
What’s important in all cases is that the Bucks did their due diligence and then knew when to stop. A Dwight Howard trade was a non-runner when he wouldn’t agree to opt in to the final year of his contract, the Bucks never really seemed prepared to get into a bidding war over Dwyane Wade, and when they gauged the potential price of a Westbrook deal they were said to have been quick to back off.
The team’s future shouldn’t be mortgaged to land stars simply for the sake of them being stars. Although he may not have been the big name that some others who have recently been linked with the Bucks are, the Greg Monroe signing was also a lesson in the importance of taking care in constructing a roster that has a coherent fit.
There’s nothing glamorous about adding Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. There certainly isn’t anything overly exciting about bringing Miles Plumlee back at an inflated price either. But those are moves grounded in realism, with the potential to pay off thanks to their practicality. Dodging costly moves that could limit not just flexibility but also opportunities for the team’s potential young stars is a win.
This is about trusting the journey the team is on rather than identifying shortcuts.
Next: Making Milwaukee Great Again