Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Poaching We Will Go

It's poaching season, Bucks fans!  And boy, do we need it.

The Bucks have a (potentially) great team.  They play in the East.  Giannis Antetokounmpo has the look of a Playoff Stud.  2017 is their year.

Unfortunately, the Bucks have not been playing great.  There are debatable reasons here and there, but ultimately it comes down to one ugly fact: the roster is full of untradeable bloat.

Monroe, Plumlee and Henson all make eight figures.  None of them feel like the starting center on a contender.

Teletovic makes eight figures.  On a great team, he is a matchup guy.  He'd play some nights and sit others.

Delly makes nearly eight figures.  On a top team with a point-forward, he's a solid third guard.

If Middleton were healthy and if things had gone according to plan, that's the rotation. Snell, Beasley, Terry and Brogdon were tabbed as benchwarmers.  Any contribution, a bonus.  Instead, they're essential.

Here's the thing: it's fine.  Roster bloat is not a killer.  Winning is about what you have, not what's being wasted.  Paying sixty million bucks to five guys who sit is annoying.  It's not debilitating, as long as they find a replacement.

Replacements can be had this time of year.  The Nets, Heat, Suns and Mavs are going nowhere.  They all have an active, aggressive Big, which is what the Bucks need.  They all appear to be interested in adding draft picks.

The question is whether the Bucks will be willing to give up a first round picks as "payment" for swapping Big men.

Tyson Chandler, Trevor Booker and Andrew Bogut don't feel like guys who deserve a first round pick.  Ideally, they're not.  Ideally, you convince a struggling team to trade for youth, and hand them Monroe, Plumlee or Henson.  But ideals don't matter in deals.  And the Bucks need to make a deal.

2017 is important for the Milwaukee Bucks.  Yes, the core is young.  Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a superstar who will be around for many years.  But this is a year with a real opportunity.  Having more years of opportunity is never assured.