Sunday, July 21, 2013

Point Guard Options for the Milwaukee Bucks

After the Atlanta Hawks matched the Milwaukee Bucks offer sheet (4 years, 32 million dollars) to restricted free agent point guard Jeff Teague, it looked almost certain that the Bucks would have to bring back Brandon Jennings either by an extension or qualifying offer. However, that may not be the case.

That being said, I believe the best case scenario for this drama that has developed between the two parties is a break up. With the Bucks offering Teague the offer sheet, it pretty much made it obvious to Brandon Jennings that he was plan B. Whether he feels disrespected or not, that is neither here nor there. Here's an interesting stat on Brandon Jennings that may surprise you. I shared this on the blog's Twitter account a week ago.

If Brandon Jennings was...let's say...more efficient, maybe the 12 million dollars a year he's asking for wouldn't be as ludicrous as it sounds coming from him?

A sign and trade makes the most sense here, however there are a few free agents the Bucks could look at. Right now the point guard depth chart for the Bucks stands at Luke Ridnour, Ish Smith, and rookie Nate Wolters. If the Bucks can get a predominate point guard, the team may look to keep Ridnour in more of a shooting guard role to back up OJ Mayo, however Luke can play both point and shooting guard.

One option on the table could be bringing back yet another former Buck. Beno Udrih is on the free agent market, a player we sent to the Orlando Magic in the ridiculous JJ Redick/Tobias Harris trade. Udrih is a very efficient point guard who actually plays remarkably better as a starter vs. a reserve.

As a starter, Beno averages 13.4 PPG, 5.2 AST, 3.3 REB, 47.9% FG%, 37.3% 3P%, and 84.8 FT%.

As a reserve, Beno averages 6.4 PPG, 2.6 AST, 1.5 REB, 44.2% FG%, 33.4% 3P%, and 79.6 FT%.

More impressively, as a starter in nine games for the Magic last year, Beno averaged 14.3 points a game, 8.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds while shooting 40.7% from the field, 53.8% from three-point range and 86.4% from the free throw line.

Now some will say that Beno won't want to come back to Milwaukee after his comments he made after the trade last year. That was really all on Scott Skiles, not the whole organization. Skiles is well known for not communicating with his players (Eddy Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Jason Kidd...just to name a few). I'm not here to compare the coaching styles of Larry Drew and Scott Skiles. All I'm saying is that how Skiles was last year wouldn't effect Beno returning to the Bucks with Larry Drew as the team's new head coach.

With the Bucks having roughly 7-8 million left in cap space, the price would have to be right to bring him back. Coincidentally, Beno made just over 7 million last year between the Bucks and Magic. I don't see any reason why he would expect much less than that considering his strong finish to the season last year. In the end, I don't think this move could end up happening unless Beno comes in at a discounted price. (4-5 million a year deal).

Moving on, there a lot of names out there that are available, but quite frankly I don't think the Bucks or any team for that matter have interest in. For example,

Baron Davis...pass.
Gilbert Arenas...pass.
Derek Fisher...pass.

Those would have been great free agent signings 5-10 years ago. Not now. But who knows. We are talking about the Bucks.

An under the radar guy out there for me is Delonte West. Besides his final two years with Boston and his second season with Cleveland, the 29 year old has never really had a predominate role with a team. He's coming off a season with Dallas with the highest PER rating of his career (15.3). West can play both guard positions. At 6-4, West plays pretty decent defense as well. At age 30, former Buck Mo Williams might end up being an option. 33 year old Keyon Dooling is looking for a team as well.

I think a signing that a lot of Bucks fans have been asking me about and wanting is Nate Robinson. Nate is coming of an impressive career year with the Chicago Bulls. We can all thank Derrick Rose for the showcase Robinson put on last year. One very misleading thing about Nate is that his style fits in well with the Bulls, who are a big team in terms of height. The Bucks are opposite. We've been very small in recent years. I fear that if Nate came to the Bucks, he would be smothered in our style of offense.

The one positive entity that surrounds Nate Robinson is that he could come at a very inexpensive price. He'd likely cost 3/4 of what Udrih would cost. And, at a low price like that, Nate could be appealing to a team at the trade deadline. Bringing Nate in at that price gives the Bucks some room to add depth at another wing position. (SG/SF Richard Hamilton, SG Gary Neal, and SF Austin Daye in particular).

Finally, Nate Robinson signed a baby at the Vegas Summer League. Moving along...

Putting the free agency madness aside, there is one sign and trade opportunity out there that could help solve this point guard dilemma. It involves a move that I actually wrote about in a previous article regarding the Bucks free agency/offseason.

The Indiana Pacers like them some Brandon Jennings. It's documented. It's what they immediately talked about once the offseason began. They originally tried to pawn off Danny Granger and his crazy contract on the Bucks in exchange for Brandon Jennings (Granger will make 14 million in 2013 coming off an injury ridden season.) However, something that caught my eye is actually something I could see happening.

The Milwaukee Bucks sign and trade point guard Brandon Jennings and a 2014 and 2015 second round pick to the Indiana Pacers for point guard George Hill.

Obviously, if the Pacers want Jennings, they don't need to be paying George Hill his contract to be a back up. Speaking of his contract, it is all too familiar with what the Bucks were willing to pay another point guard. George Hill's remaining contract with the Pacers is good for 4 years, and it pays exactly 8 million dollars annually. It's mirror image of what we offered Teague.

Now, this move is only likely if the Bucks decide not to use this season as a transitional one and they actually want to compete. All signs point to this year being transitional and the #TankForWiggins trend seems to be likely. That's why I'm just speculating here.

I think that is an important thing to remember coming out of this free agency period with the Bucks. I think it's wise to save your emotions with the Bucks when it comes to this stuff. With the way we drafted this year, I feel we are heading into the right direction. I believe that with who we brought in for free agent signings are trade chips, role players to mentor our rookies (Zaza, Delfino, and Ridnour to teach Wolters and Giannis). In the end, I think at best we will be a lottery team, regardless if Jennings comes back or not. That is unless we make a big move involving Jennings.

Until next time, Beer, Brats, and Championships.

- Andrew Vrchota (@AndrewVrchota)

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