Paving A Path For Core Development
In an organization invested in development from within and getting the best out of pre-existing players, it’s important to do everything possible to make the growth process easier for everyone involved.
This is a lesson the Bucks have learned the hard way. Greg Monroe turned out to be a terrible fit. Zaza Pachulia, Jared Dudley and Ersan Ilaysova were all viewed as expendable, but in reality they offered much more to the young core than their talents suggested they would.
With the players who are assumed to be the team’s long-term key pieces already in place, it’s not good enough to just assume a good center is enough to fill the team’s need at center. Fit and skill-set become even more important, and a key component of gauging that comes in recognizing the weaknesses of your best players.
The additions of Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic this summer seem like logical acquisitions having factored in the direction, abilities and inabilities of the current core. Milwaukee needed low usage players who could knock down shots and help a young team to learn how to defend (again).
By the same token, Miles Plumlee seemed like an excellent fit in terms of energy and chemistry, having come to the fore during what was probably the most impressive period of play that Milwaukee put together last season.
Was the price paid for Plumlee too high? Of course. Did it make sense all the same? Absolutely.
Last summer the Bucks turned their back on continuity and solid performers who helped the team perform at a level greater than the sum of its parts and it cost them dearly. Perhaps fear of a repeat scenario caused them to be too frivolous with their funds, but bringing Miles Plumlee back was the right decision based on the mistakes that cost them in the past.
Who wanted to be talking about the loss of Miles Plumlee in the same vein as Pachulia and Dudley when next season gets in full swing?
The team isn’t tooled towards Plumlee, Dellavedova or Teletovic, but they help to point it in the direction of those who really matter.
In trying to construct a winning team, there’s little more that can be asked of management than to be bold and optimistic. The Bucks have done that with their moves over the past two summers, picking their spots to take risks, and seemingly learning from the mistakes made when the gambles haven’t paid off.
There are no guarantees in the NBA and the future remains uncertain, but the Bucks seem set on giving this plan every chance to succeed and for that they should be commended.