The NBA offseason is the perfect time for teams make all kinds of terrible decisions via the draft and free agency. And while there are a few contenders for the title thusfar, the Milwaukee Bucks’ baffling June takes the shit-filled cake.
First, the Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for very little. It was a clear cost-cutting move. Fine.
Then, the Bucks dealt one of the acquired pieces from the Spurs trade to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Amir Johnson. I went over those two trades in a post last week.
Milwaukee followed those moves by drafting questionable point guard Brandon Jennings in the first round of the NBA Draft. They added another smallish guard in the second round by drafting Jodie Meeks.
Based on those draft picks, you would expect the Bucks to let Ramon Sessions walk and sign the productive Charlie Villanueva.
But instead, Milwaukee has decided to make a qualifying offer to Sessions and let Villanueva sign elsewhere. So the Bucks are content to go into the season with Luke Ridnour, Sessions, Jennings and Meeks while having only Andrew Bogut, Johnson, Dan Gadzuric and Francisco Elson up front.
There is plenty of info out there on why this is a bad move for the Bucks, but this blog is for fantasy purposes, so let’s just take a look at the fantasy impact.
The team commitment to Sessions is a good sign for his value. Coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists in 27.5 minutes, Sessions appears to be in the long-term plans for the Bucks and it’s fair assume he’ll get 30-plus minutes per game this season.
With Villanueva gone, you can make the case that Johnson is now the team’s second-best frontcourt player. While I detailed his weaknesses last week, it would appear he’s going to get every possible chance to make an impact because this team is going to suck hard.
And while it’s too early to tell where Villanueva is going to end up, hopefully he gets a defined role. In three seasons with the Bucks he has played in 193 games and made 95 starts and every season has been a 50-50 split between starting and coming off the bench.
If you’ve owned Villanueva in the past few seasons you know it was frustrating game of “will he start and get 35 minutes or will he be a reserves and get 12?” He’s only 24 and has shown he can be productive in the NBA. If he heads into the season with a guaranteed 30 minutes per game, he will be an extremely valuable fantasy asset.
You get the feeling the Bucks never really figured out how to utilize his talents. Based on the past couple of weeks, it appears there is a lot the team has yet to figure out.