Milwaukee Bucks 2016-17 Season Review: John Hammond

Mandatory Credit: Sam Caravana- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Caravana- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Saving the season one trade at a time

Rudderless without their leading scorer and likely to struggle getting buckets, John Hammond took to the trade market to add firepower and defense to the roster. Khris Middleton (and Jabari Parker later in the season) could never be replaced, but John Hammond managed to dig around in other team’s discarded goods to find some overlooked jewels to alleviate the loss.

I’ve written about this at length throughout the season, but acquiring Tony Snell and Michael Beasley for pennies-on-the-dollar likely saved the Bucks’ season.

Snell came over from Chicago as a disappointing 3-and-D wing that couldn’t score and struggled with defensive consistency. He then reinvented himself as a sharpshooting iron man who led the team in three-pointers made and started a team-leading 80 games (tied with Antetokounmpo). Michael Carter-Williams (whom Snell was acquired for in a straight swap) struggled to stay healthy all year and failed to rise up to the top of league’s worst point guard rotation.

Snell will be a restricted free agent this summer and will likely command a big pay raise. How the Bucks proceed will be one of the league’s most watched storylines in the offseason.

Michael Beasley may have also played himself into a big pay day. After coming over from Houston in exchange for Tyler Ennis, Beasley made an immediate impact as a bench scorer. The former second overall pick was a dependable bucket-getter and shot a career-high from behind the arc. His play earned praise from ESPN’s Zach Lowe while making the writer’s annual ‘Luke Walton All-Stars,’ a list reserved for role players and NBA journeymen.

Ennis, for comparison, was traded to the Lakers at the deadline after months of uninspiring play in Texas.

A tight budget this summer might price Milwaukee out of the Beasley sweepstakes (a term you probably haven’t read since his freshman year at Kansas State). If Beasley signs for decent money this year, he owes a lot of the credit to John Hammond for taking a risk on the much-maligned former Golden Star.