(yes this blog just about needs a table of contents)
Listen I know the Bucks catch a lot of flack and rightfully so. Pretty much ever since they decided to let Scott Williams walk and spent a ton of money on Anthony Mason, things have been a train wreck. And yes that's where I mark the downfall. Some would say that the Jesus Shuttlesworth for Gary Payton was the beginning of the end but I disagree. Scotty Williams was a high energy guy that fit in perfectly with those early 2000's teams. The second we cut him and signed Mason we were never the same. It was like the scene in Jurassic Park where the water starts vibrating. It might be a ways away, but something awful is going to happen. The only difference being that instead of getting devoured by a T-Rex we got devoured by the basketball version of Cletidus Hunt. Fat, slow and overpaid. And while those three characteristics are desirable in the blogging community, not so much in professional athletics.
In any case, that move lead to the Ray Allen move which led to max deals for guys like Bobby Simmons, Dan Gaduric, John Salmons blah blah blah. But I have to say, I'm not hating this offseason after yesterday's trade. And 'not hating' an offseason for the Bucks is a frieking A+ for John Hammond. And yesterday was the final stroke. Brandon Jennings to Detroit for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslov Kravtsov*. Now obviously the key name is Brandon Knight. 8th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Shoots almost as poorly as Jennings and doesn't have great overall numbers, but is 6-3 and two years younger. And those last two points are key. Brandon Jennings had about as good a chance of shutting down bigger point guards as Aaron Rodgers would of surviving being dropped in the middle of a bachelorette party with no security at 2am. Plus he was a shoot-first point guard who couldn't shoot. I maintain that on a GREAT team he would be a good player. He wasn't a franchise player and we can all thank little 6 pound, 8 ounce baby Jesus that we didn't sign him to a Michael Redd deal. So with Knight and Mayo you get younger, bigger, and you could argue more athletic in the backcourt. And with Jennings gone, I think we can give Nate Wolters a legit shot and Luke Ridnour the minutes he deserves.
So that should about put a cap on a strange offseason. What I like about it is that we made commitments to mostly young players, but they aren't bad contracts in terms of length or money. Zaza, Ridnour, Mayo, Knight, Delfino they could all be gone in 2-3 years which is precisely what a small market team needs to do. I expect that Sanders will be offered a long term deal at some point but I have no problem with that for a guy who blocks shots, rebounds and brings intensity. I honestly think he's a better, taller version of Ben Wallace in his prime. Plus these moves probably guarantee a last place finish in the Central and the Bucks being lottery bound in a stacked draft. Indiana is LIGHT years ahead of us, the Bulls get Rose back, Cleveland has been making moves and Detroit probably jumps ahead of us now too. But that's fine. They can have Josh Smith and Jennings and the #8 seed banner we seem to always have our sights set on. We will build with Sanders, Henson, Antetokounmpo, maybe Wolters and maybe Knight. Hopefully hit the lottery next year and actually build a team that can look at the year 2016 and have a hope of more than barely making the playoffs. It feels like that scene in Anchorman; I know that one day, the Bucks will be competitive and we will scream it from the top of a mountain. And there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises. And our children will form a family band, and we will tour the countryside and you won't be invited!
*Between that guy, Antetokounmpo and Miroslav Raduljica, odds on Jon McGlockin's head exploding are set at 7:5.
PS: Gotta give credit where credit is due though, Jennings' 55 point game and the Fear the Dear campaign were probably the two most exciting things to happen at the Bradley Center in years. I put it right behind Disney on Ice.