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cgrade23
Bucks are trading for Eric Bledsoe by unloading Greg Monroe and a couple of picks:
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21326383/phoenix-suns-finalizing-deal-send-eric-bledsoe-milwaukee-bucks

I like the move.
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gstacy
don't know much about him, read both good and bad. Hope he makes this team better.
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cgrade23
Can't be any worse that what Monroe was providing.
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db11
The Bucks now lack any sort of beef in the post, but on paper they upgraded at a position that to be honest, really needed it.
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yzerman1
I like the trade for the Bucks.  Here is how ESPN evaluates the trade:

Bucks get: Guard Eric Bledsoe

Suns get: Center Greg Monroe, protected first-round pick and a protected second-round pick

 


Milwaukee Bucks: B-

[image]

From the moment he sent his now-infamous "I Dont wanna be here" tweet, Bledsoe was an obvious fit for the Bucks. Bledsoe's long arms -- his wingspan measured 6-foot-7½ at the NBA draft combine in 2010, more than 7 inches greater than his height without shoes -- and strength should make him an ideal defender for Jason Kidd's system, which utilizes length and recovery speed to trap and prevent offenses from finding open shooters on the weak side (as ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz detailed earlier this year).

The question was always whether Milwaukee could find a trade package that satisfied Phoenix's needs without surrendering promising youngsters Malcolm Brogdon or Jabari Parker. Ultimately, because Bledsoe's trade value was so low, the Bucks were able to hold on to Brogdon and Parker and use a first-round pick as the carrot for the Suns, according to the trade being finalized as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.  That came at a cost in terms of the matching salary. Instead of getting off the bad, longer-term deals for Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson or Mirza Teletovic, Milwaukee was forced to give up center Greg Monroe in addition to the pick.

Dealing Monroe hurts the value of this trade for the Bucks in both the short and long term. For the remainder of this season, Monroe was likely to be Milwaukee's best center. While he was off to a slow start before being sidelined with a calf strain, Monroe was the only Bucks 5 who provided much offensive punch, averaging 18.8 points per 36 minutes on efficient .572 true shooting last season, as compared with 14.5 per 36 for Thon Maker and 12.6 per 36 for Henson. During 2016-17, Milwaukee outscored opponents by 3.7 points per 100 possessions with Monroe on the court, per NBA.com/Stats , and was minus-2.2 per 100 with him on the bench -- worst for any player on the roster, even star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Eventually, the Bucks may be confident they can replace Monroe's scoring as part of the second unit with Parker, who could slot into a reserve role when he returns from a torn ACL suffered last February. Still, Parker is months away from playing, and Milwaukee's best chance at making noise in this season's playoffs would include him, Bledsoe and Monroe.

The bigger challenge presented by trading Monroe may come next summer, when his contract would have expired. Bledsoe is signed for $15 million in 2018-19, a reasonable sum for a starting point guard but still one that will make it more difficult for the Bucks to avoid paying the luxury tax -- probably a non-starter for a small-market team without a track record of success.

Adding Bledsoe's salary moves Milwaukee within $16 million of the projected 2018-19 luxury-tax line ($122 million) with Parker as yet unsigned. (After failing to come to terms on an extension before the deadline earlier this month, Parker will be a restricted free agent next summer.) If Parker plays well after his return, the Bucks could be vulnerable to another team making a big offer to him in restricted free agency and forcing them into the tax by matching.

Milwaukee can save $7 million by waiving Teletovic and stretching the final season of his contract, but that would leave the team with cap hits for both Teletovic and Spencer Hawes (waived this summer) for the next two seasons. And, of course, the Bucks now have one fewer first-round pick (and one fewer second-round pick as well) to use either for a cost-controlled salary as the team's payroll rises or to help offload bad salaries.

Those caveats noted, this is still a trade worth making for Milwaukee. The Bucks got Bledsoe at an incredibly low cost in terms of assets, even getting protection on the first-rounder in case things go south to mitigate the risk. Adding Bledsoe while keeping Brogdon gives Kidd the ability to get 48 minutes of quality play at point guard, where Dellavedova has been ineffective, as well as playing both players together in ultra-versatile lineups.

While he has more tools at his disposal, the pressure on Kidd to win now surely ratchets up following this trade. Dealing picks for a starter who will soon turn 28 accelerates the Bucks' timetable to win the next two seasons, before Bledsoe becomes an unrestricted free agent who will be difficult for Milwaukee to re-sign given the team's tax limitations.


Phoenix Suns: C

[image]

Because contracts aren't always zero-sum, getting Monroe doesn't help the Suns as much as it hurts the Bucks. Surely, Phoenix demanded Monroe instead of one of Milwaukee's longer-term deals once the Bucks weren't willing to include Brogdon or Parker (or multiple first-round picks). Still, unless the Suns can get off one of their other long-term deals, they've created only marginal cap space (an estimated $13 million or so, pending the Milwaukee pick) for the summer of 2018 by trading Bledsoe for an expiring contract.

The summer of 2019, when Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley come off the books, remains a better time for Phoenix to get active in free agency. For now, the team will have to hope that space can be used to add additional draft picks (or young talent) by taking on salary from teams that need to clear cap room or are ducking the luxury tax.

The Suns could also maximize their return for Bledsoe by shipping Monroe to a third team prior to the deadline. He could have some value as a quality player on an expiring contract between now and February, though the market for centers is limited right now. Moving Monroe early could also help Phoenix clear a roster spot to convert starting point guard Mike James' two-way contract into an NBA deal without waiving second-year wing Derrick Jones

Pending those additional moves, this return for Bledsoe has to be considered something of a disappointment. Consider that the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Ricky Rubio last summer for a first-round pick and no salary in return. Rubio's value surely wasn't as high as Bledsoe's at the time, and while the first-rounder the Timberwolves got no longer looks as good as Milwaukee's because the Oklahoma City Thunder subsequently added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, Minnesota got huge benefit from clearing enough cap space to sign Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson as free agents.

Last summer was surely the time to move Bledsoe, whose unhappiness on a losing team was predictable -- particularly after the Suns sat him out after last year's trade deadline to pursue a better pick. Bringing Bledsoe back, and subsequently sending him home after his apparent subtweet, did nothing to improve his trade value.  Given that situation, Phoenix probably did as well as could be expected. The market was unlikely to move dramatically between now and the trade deadline unless a huge injury created a need for a point guard. At least this way the Suns get to move on with an additional draft pick in hand.



 
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cameroncrazies02
A whooooole lot to digest here.  Lets start with the basics.  Bucks trade Greg Monroe, a future 1st, 2018 2nd for Eric Bledsoe.  That future 1st is protected so it will only convey in 2018 if it falls between 11-16, in 2019 if it falls 4-16, 2020 if it falls 8-30 and unprotected in 2020.  The 2nd round pick is protected from picks 1-16 in the 2nd round.  So all in all, the likeliness is that the 1st conveys in 2020 and the 2nd rounder conveys this year.

Greg Monroe-Greg was a positive player for us.  He was brought in as probably the biggest FA signing in recent Bucks history.  Every other name the Bucks acquired was via trade.  He was touted as our center of the future.  Alas, he didn't show that way.  He was relegated to a 6th man role last season and really excelled for us.  He was a driving factor for us late in the season and in the playoffs.  Greg unfortunately never got over his weaknesses on defense in pick and roll.  But it wasn't for a lack of trying.  He was a consummate professional on its face even though there was rumblings of some issues between he and Kidd.  I wish him nothing but the best.  

The picks-To essentially not have a pick convey until 2020 is pretty big.  This showed some ingenuity among Jon Horst.  The NBA trades are moving towards that type of ingenuity with protections.  The CBA rule that you can't trade 1st round picks in back to back years can really hamper a trade.  The Rockets couldn't trade their 2019 pick because they owe their 2018 pick elsewhere which may have been the big issue in any potential Carmelo trade.  This pick protects us in case something disastrous happens and we fall off completely that we'd still have a high lottery pick in 2018.  The Bucks, in theory, should be better than the 16th pick in the draft.  The top 14 picks are lottery bound and its likely the East's 7th and 8th seed are the 15 and 16.  The Bucks should be better than the 7th seed and keep that pick until 2020.  It will hurt to not have a pick three years from now on a trade that we don't know how it worked out, but it also provides us with flexibility.  We could still (I think) trade a future 1st with such restrictions that the pick is conveyed in a certain time period around this pick.  So, you can have language that says we'll trade a 1st that conveys two years after this pick to the Suns is conveyed.  I don't think though, we can trade our 2018 pick with the assumption this pick to the Suns won't go until 2020, because if it falls in its non-protected range in 2019, then we'd violate CBA by conveying two picks two years in a row.

What wasn't traded-this is the big story.  The fear was we'd have to include Brogdon or Thon and Bucks fans everywhere were holding their collective breath waiting for the details to come out that we traded Brogdon.  I had already come to terms that we'd have to include Brown or Wilson but alas, none were.  If nothing else, if we're handicapped by a future trade of another 1st, we'll at least have our picks, likely, for the next two years.

Eric Bledsoe-he is everything that we need from a PG.  He's super athletic, can score from anywhere, can be inefficient at times, but his efficiency should sky rocket from where its been because he's played in such a bad system around Brandon Knight and Devin Booker.  He's a perfect pick and roll player with Giannis and most importantly, immediately becomes our top defender against elite PG's, a huge plus.  We constantly are asking Tony Snell to play double duty on defense.  Against Toronto in the playoffs, he had to constantly cover Derozan or Lowry.  Now we can throw Bledsoe at any PG and he can do a better job than any PG we have,  The little bit of concern is Bledsoe's injury history.  His knees aren't good and he's missed some substantial time the last few years.  We just have to cross our fingers he stays healthy.

PG-Bledsoe, Brogdon, Delly
SG-Snell, Vaughn, Brown, Terry
SF-Middleton, Liggins, Jabari (when healthy)
PF-Giannis, Telly, Wilson
C-Henson, Thon

Our bench is immediately improved by pushing Brogdon to the 6th man role.  We can put Giannis and Snell on the bench, bring in Telly and still play Bledsoe, Brogdon, Middleton, Telly and Henson/Thon.  The defense will still be an issue there.  But when Jabari comes back, you can bring in a platoon of Brogdon and Jabari and sub out two of Bledsoe/Snell/Middleton/Giannis.  Crunch time of Bledsoe, Brogdon, Middleton, Giannis and Thon/Henson now is much more appealing and even better when its Bledsoe, Middleton, Jabari, Giannis and Thon/Henson.

One bit of tidbit is the Bucks have some flexibility now.  Bledsoe was owed $3.5M less than Monroe was which provides some flexibility below the tax.  We also have trade exceptions to use and could send out Vaughn as an expiring.  A few names I thought of was Kyle O'Quinn, Noah Vonleh, Ed Davis.  O'Quinn is going to be quickly relegated to the bench after the acquisition of Kanter and the return of Joakim Noah and development of Hernangomez.  He'd be available as a big body rebounding defensive presence.  Vonleh is hurt after returning from injury and could be useful as a big 4 behind Giannis.  Ed Davis is playing good minutes for POR so I'm not sure he'd be available for a salary dump, but its possible with the emergence of Caleb Swanigan.  There's also the conundrum CHI is in with Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic.  Mirotic has already said he doesn't want to play with Portis again.  Mirotic is on a 2/25 contract which makes him hard to trade.  Portis may have to go.  And with a lack of other enticing trade assets, CHI may have to accept cap fodder and a 2nd.  Portis for Vaughn and a 2nd could do it.  Al Jefferson has always been available in IND.  But he's very similar to Monroe.  He wouldn't help the defense at all and he's 34, but you could feasibly trade him for Delly.  I'm not sure IND has any interest in that deal unless something else was involved, but it'd be worth a call.  A perfect scenario would be to land Bismack Biyombo.  He's not on a very cap friendly contract in ORL (this year plus two more at 17.5M per) so any trade would be hard.  You'd have to get ORL to take back Delly or Henson along with Vaughn, however there's no reason for ORL to do it.
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cameroncrazies02
Eric Bledsoe has been really good for the Bucks through 3 games.  It's not an admiration that they've gone 3-0 since he's gotten to Milwaukee.  He hasn't put up gawdy numbers, nor has he been all that efficient, but his impact has been tremendous.  He held Mike Conley to 7 points yesterday against MEM.  I watched most of that game and never even thought twice about Conley handling the ball.  Before, he would've driven right by Brogdon and Delly, gotten into the lane and picked us apart.  Bledsoe bodied him and stayed with him all game.  His impact on offense is that he breaks defenses down.  He gets into the lane and has tremendous passing ability.  He's had a few delicious bounce passes to Giannis when he drives the lane and Giannis cuts baseline as the big man tries to run at Bledsoe.  On defense, like I said, he can stay in front of most PG's in the league and puts forth major effort.  He's still getting use to the scrambling defense, but he runs his butt off and won't let a shooter open.  He had 3 blocks against MEM, two of them at the rim.  

The only concern I have was Bledsoe was a game time decision with a "knee contusion" and Kidd was very mum about it when asked after he played against MEM.  He was asked if he bumped knees with someone which is the typical knee contusion injury, and he just repeated, "it was a knee contusion."  A knee contusion doesn't necessarily mean knee soreness and is actually a completely different injury.  If the Bucks were caught labeling the injury wrong, it could cost them so I don't think they did that, it's just something to definitely watch for because Bledsoe has had knee issues in the past.  He did play 3 games in 4 days after not playing for 3 weeks, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

On other note, John Henson has had an absolute resurgence.  I'm trying not to get caught up in it, because he's done this before.  He's flashed earlier in the season his ability, but tapered off.  I believe that was the case last season when Monroe and him split time and nothing was working, Thon got the start in the 2nd half of the season, Monroe settled into a 6th man role and Henson sat the bench.  But he's been an entirely different player.  He's still getting bullied by big centers and it'll be interesting to see the adjustments he makes against Drummond tomorrow.  He got eaten alive by Drummond and the pick and roll about a week ago and took a lot of the blame for it post-game saying they needed to work pick and roll defense.  But he's suddenly developed a mild semblance of a jumpshot from 18 feet.  It's not always pretty and the efficiency won't be great, but the slightest threat of it will help defenses not collapse on Giannis and Bledsoe.  His rebounding has been good and his touch around the basket and feel in the paint has been tremendous.  Their offense looked completely different against Memphis.  He was cutting to the lane, getting the ball at the high post, and making really good touch passes or long hooks.  If he keeps this up, and can keep up his stamina, he'll be our steady center for the remainder of the year.

Ok, a few other notes.  DEANDRE LIGGINS!  Ok, he's getting spot time because Telly has been out with an injury, but his defense is relentless.  He had 3 steals against MEM and was diving all over the floor.  He is only a very slight spot up shooting threat, but in the last 3 games he's 4-6 from 3.  As long as he isn't trying to dribble drive or really dribble at all, he's very effective.  When Telly comes back, I'd hope we can slide Delly out of the rotation and have a bench unit of Brogdon, Telly, Liggins and Thon.  Delly's been getting minutes at the 2 alongside Brogdon during Bledsoe's rest.  I'd think Delly slides out, Liggins moves to the 2/3 and Telly slides into the 3/4 rotation.  At least that's my hope.  Kidd has an admiration for Delly though that not a single other fan cares for.
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cameroncrazies02
After an inspirational 4-0 run since the Bledsoe trade, they absolutely crapped the bed tonight against the Mavericks, the worst team in the league.  They were completely out of sync the whole game, couldn't get any offensive flow and played lazy.  DAL did a really good job not letting the Bucks run.  It was a half court game the entire way.  This team really gets going when it can get running a bit, but every time the Bucks got a break, DAL fouled in the open court to prevent a run out.  They got screwed once on what was pretty clearly a clear path foul on Dirk when Giannis got on the break.  DAL also played extremely physical with MIL down low and couldn't get a call whatsoever.  Giannis could've had 35 tonight, but he was missing his normal 10 foot fades.  They didn't have any shot blocking presence yet Giannis really fell in love with fading away.  Bledsoe also took some terrible shots and went something like 2-10.  He shot a handful of clankers one step in from the 3 point line which will drive any fan crazy.  DAL ate up our defense early on and they kept it going with hitting crap they wouldn't hit anywhere else.  Barea and Matthews went something like 11-15 from 3.  What really hurts was this was the game Monroe would've pounded them down low and kept the offense going.  DAL spread out the defense because there wasn't a post threat and forced bad shots all game.  We really need Teletovic back.  Liggins is fine in spurts, but he played a ridiculous amount of minutes tonight and bogged down the offense.  Telly can hit anything behind the arc and keep the offense moving.  I really hope we get to see some Vaughn/Brown soon.  Sterling Brown lit it up for the Herd the last game.  We could use that spark.  
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cameroncrazies02
We're a 5th of the way through the season (which is crazy) already, so here's my eval of every player/coach-

Giannis-A how can you not give him an A?  He's averaging around 30 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals, 2 blocks per game.  His numbers have leveled off a bit since the Bledsoe trade, but he's going to take time getting use to playing off ball.  His knee soreness is concerning.  He was given the game off against PHX as it was thought of as an easy win.  Hopefully rest and treatments keep him going, but it is something to watch for.  I'd like to see him be a bit more of a leader on the floor when the offense gets stagnant.  He tends to fall into a lull of 1 on 1 because nobody else is moving.  Direct traffic, ask for screens and keep guys engaged.

Khris Middleton-B it's hard to complain about anything Middleton is doing considering he's averaging career highs in every category except 3P shooting.  I'm not sure why he's in a slump from 3, but he tends to go in waves with his shooting.  He's not forcing it and still getting to his spots on the floor.  He's also fallen into the same lull Giannis is where he takes it 1 on 1 too much.  It seems Khris is wanting to get his when the ball sticks in Giannis or Bledsoe's hands for a few possessions where he'll then get it and not give it up.  

Eric Bledsoe-C+ Bled is going to take some time to find his role.  He had the opportunity with Giannis out to showcase his talent and take over against his former team last night.  His shooting has been pretty horrific, but I expect it to only get better.  His defense has been very good and he's filling up the stat sheet and doing things our other PG's can only dream of.  Once he settles into a role, he should be even more valuable to this team.

Tony Snell-B- it's hard to fault Snell, the one complaint I have is his defense.  He showed the ability to lock anybody down 1-3 last season, but this system of frantic defense doesn't fit him.  He can't be faulted for that, because this isn't showcasing his best abilities.  His shooting has been out of this world at 47% from 3.  He's a legitimate threat and always finds space in the offense to get free.  He's never going to fill up the stat sheets, but he does the little things.

John Henson-B I pray every day I don't fall for this John Henson again.  He's done this before, show his talent, live up to some potential, rebound, block shots, score when he has to and do the little things.  He's game to game.  He'll get eaten alive by the likes of Drummond and Dwight Howard, but centers aren't built in the NBA today to stop those guys.  He's shown really good passing, cutting ability and better screening.  He's been an epiphany since Thon has been horrid.

Malcolm Brogdon-C Brogdon has been out of sync all year.  He'll still pick up his 15 points here and there and hit a few big shots, but he's an after thought right now and when he's just standing on the perimeter not moving, he's not a threat.  He takes a long time to get his shot off and he's slow off the dribble, so if his guy is anywhere near him, he's taken out of the offense completely.  He's done this last year as well when the lineups get screwed with.  Once he finds a big partner that's going to set him solid screens like Monroe did (Bolomboy?) he'll get better.

Thon Maker-D for the steps Thon took forward last year, he's taken 3 steps back.  He's not blocking shots, he's running 100 MPH when he needs to slow down, he's not effective on offense except when he hits a jump shot or two, he doesn't screen well...his weaknesses are getting exposed this year and he's still in his own head.  I haven't given up on him, he can still put it together.  His 3 has been off all season so against PHX he stepped into a few mid rangers and hit 3 big ones in the 2nd half which were crucial.

Mirza Teletovic-B Mirza's here for one reason-to shoot.  And he's done that really well.  He's shooting nearly 47% from 3 so if he keeps up that kind of pace, he'll always have a place here.  His absence has shown lately with no other shooters around, the lanes get clogged for Giannis and Bledsoe.  With Mirza roaming the perimeter, he opens up the offense.  He's now out for 4 weeks which will be a true test for some young guys.

Matthew Dellavedova-D+ well, he's still shooting a decent clip from 3.  We haven't seen him nearly at all since Bledsoe came as he's been out with an injury so it's hard to judge.  But before Bledsoe, Delly was coming in and pounding the rock unnecessarily-a consistent knock on him.  He has no offense outside of setting screens and shooting when open.  I'll give him one more chance when he comes back before I'm out on him completely.

Rashad Vaughn-INC-he had such a good summer league, then the minutes he has gotten this year he scored the ball really well, but he's not playing at all in favor of Gary Payton and DeAndre Liggins.  I'm still flabbergasted he hasn't played more with Teletovic out, his shooting would help.  I don't expect him to stick on the roster all year.  If we're faced with another injury, Vaughn could be cut and another player signed.

Sterling Brown-INC-has barely played at all.  Can't judge him at all yet.

DeAndre Liggins-B- Liggins is so hard to watch.  His offense is go stand in the corner and if you get a wide open look when everything breaks down, try to shoot.  I have to give him credit, he's hit some 3's which I didn't think we'd see.  His defense is what gets him such a good grade.  He is pesky as hell and a really good perimeter defender.  He needs to cut down on the fouls.  With how much he's been playing, I think he sticks into Kidd's rotation for better or worse.

DJ Wilson-F-he hasn't played and when he has, he has no idea what he's doing.  It's even more painful to see that John Collins is tearing it up for ATL.

Gary Payton II-F he does nothing well.  He can play defense a bit, but outside of that, he has no effectiveness.  He's on a 2 way and soon the Bucks will have to make a decision because he's only allowed to play up for 45 days.  I'm still new to 2-way contracts so I'm not sure how it works exactly, but I'd like to see us relinquish his 2-way and sign James Young in his spot.

Joel Bolomboy-INC-you can see he's very raw.  But he's big, he's a really good rebounder and sets a mean screen.  The problem is he's not a roll man, but to have a big that can set screens for Bledsoe will be crucial for Bledsoe getting to the basket.

Jason Terry-A+ best towel waver in the game, assuming the position as player-coach.  I'd love to see us cut him and bring him back as an assistant to open up his roster spot if that's possible.

Jason Kidd/Coaching staff-D-the offense and defense have been bad in their own way.  As I said, the offense gets really stagnant.  If Giannis isn't rolling, the offense is lackluster at best.  They have to do a better job at running more sets.  The defensive scheme clearly isn't changing.  It's frantic, it doesn't create turnovers any more, gives up a ton of 3's and makes for horrid defensive rebounding.  The coaching staff is what it is.  Kidd, Prunty and Sweeney are all attached together.  Firing Kidd isn't exactly going to change the scheme and while they're above .500 and with all the injuries, there's going to be a scapegoat.  They're going to get this team for all 82 because Jabari is due back early 2018.  Then we'll hopefully get to see a fully healthy roster and what the coaches can do.  If they still fall short of expectations, then maybe some moves will be made.
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cameroncrazies02
Well, we may be at that point for the Bucks.  They sit at 9-9 and 5-5 in their last 10.  The Bledsoe trade hasn't fixed the problems.  And the problems isn't the players on the floor, it's the coaching staff.  Tonight, the Bucks played the short handed Jazz without Joe Johnson and Rudy Gobert, two of their biggest presences.  The Bucks gave up a record number of 3's to the Jazz, something they've become all too familiar giving away.  (They recently gave up a record number of 3's to, I believe, Detroit)  Giannis played a solid game, put up positive stats, but was getting absolutely hammered on the inside and wasn't getting calls.  It started early when Giannis was backing down Jerebko on Giannis's first touch of the game.  It was a simple back down, Jerebko didn't even go down, but Giannis got called for a charge that surprised everyone.

It continued into the 3rd quarter, Giannis grabbed an offensive rebound, put up a putback, missed, got it back, got hacked on the way up badly, made it and didn't get a call.  He was visibly upset screaming at the ref on the way back down.  The Jazz come down the court, miss a shot, Giannis grabs the rebound and gets slapped as he comes away with the ball.  He dribbles down the court, tries to take it to the hole on a fast break and loses it off his knee.  Jazz run the other way, Giannis doesn't get back on defense and gives up a 3 to the Jazz.  Giannis is still yelling as he comes to the bench.  Bucks Assistant Coach Sean Sweeney (who's in charge of the defense) gets up from his chair and throws his arm out at Giannis, seemingly yelling at him as he comes to the bench.  Giannis walks up and slaps the chair to the ground.  The team forms a circle and you can't see much, but right before they go to commercial, you can see some guys stepping in closer as if they're separating.  A Jazz cameraman tweeted out that Giannis was yelling at Sweeney and said something to the effect of, "I'll **** you up!"  

It seems as though the players are growing tired of what they're asked to do.  After three years, even the longest tenured guys (Giannis, Henson, Middleton) can't catch onto the scheme.  The Jazz made long possessions of 5-6 passes that every time they did, it resulted in an open 3.  Every opponent is catching on that if you skip pass around the perimeter, you're going to catch the Bucks on the weakside because they overload the strong side.  Once a skip pass is made, if you make one more pass, you're golden.  That'll get to another open man and then defenders are scrambling.  It's routine that at least 3 times a game this happens and 2-3 defenders will run out at that defender because at that point, no one has responsibility on anyone and it results in either a made 3 or an offensive rebound because now you've dedicated between 3-4 guys on two guys on the perimeter.  It just doesn't make sense.

This team is built to create turnovers, you don't need a scheme to try to help it along.  The other infuriating thing to watch is guys don't man up.  They try to corral ball handlers to a corner or base/sideline and hope for a trap to cause a turnover.  Instead, what you get is matador defense.  The Jazz created a clinic tonight how to beat that.  You put two on the corner 3 spot, one ball handler at the top and two others at the top of the 3 point line.  The ball handler goes to one side and now you have nobody behind that defender on the ballhandler.  Then it's just 1 on 1.  Rubio blew by Bledsoe twice in the 4th quarter and Hood did once against Snell in the same few minute sequence.  It's clear both defenders thought there'd be a big man there to "corral" the ball handler, but there wasn't and all three ended up in wide open layups.

The issue with a coaching change right now is Kidd is the head coach, Sweeney is the defensive coach and Prunty is the offensive coach.  All three of those guys came from BKN together.  They're all connected, schematically.  You can fire Kidd, but you still have Sweeney running the defense.  It's not likely that you'll get a good enough coach to come in and make sweeping changes, because that doesn't happen mid-season.  So your best bet is Kidd is the scapegoat, Prunty is the interim (highly likely, he's taken over every time Kidd's been out) and Prunty makes some changes within his own staff.  But an interim coach doesn't have that kind of power.  And Prunty's only been in charge of the offense.  If he goes to interim and tells Sweeney to change his defense, it's going to be tumultuous.   But something has to happen.  You can just see how downtrodden this team is.  Once they start giving up 3's, they're forced to come up slow half court offense which is not their bread and butter.  And when you start giving up multiple 3's, you lose the energy to do anything on offense resulting in 1 on 1 play.

Lastly, the lineups have been terrible.  Gary Payton II got his second straight start and for the second straight game, he played between 5-10 minutes, was taken out and never came back in.  Rashad Vaughn got some run in the 4th quarter having not played the entire game which is a big no-no.  It's so unlikely you call a guy up cold after sitting for 3 quarters and he's going to be effective at all.  I get why Liggins is playing.  His defense is his strong suit and he has the ability to lock a guy down, but he draws so many fouls.  In PHX a few days ago, he played 40 minutes, had 5 steals, but only 2 points and 5 fouls.  Tonight he played 8 minutes, had 0 points, 2 blocks and 5 fouls.  He is so ineffective on offense, you're playing 4 on 5.  And that many fouls in that short of a span, you're just killing yourself jumping right into the penalty.  I'd hope they're getting their last look at Payton to see what they have before they send him back down to the G-League and hopefully rescind his 2-way.
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oldballcoach1
Is another trade in the works for a 5 man?  I think cameron pointed to the issues of Henson and defending some of the more physical 5 men in the league.  Obviously Maker is similar in status in terms of Henson's post defense, so it makes some sense to try to find a more physical presence.  Not sure who that would be or who the trade chips the Bucks have left.  

If this team continues to hover around .500 and lose games like last night, you have to think that the ownership has to consider some change, but didn't they bring Kidd and his guys with them when they bought the team??  And firing Kidd and giving the interim job to one of the assistants, as cameron pointed out, isn't going to change much.  A complete house cleaning couldn't happen until the end of the season it wouldn't seem.  
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cameroncrazies02
I don't think the issue is personnel right now, it's the scheme.  Henson and Thon are asked to do a lot.  They constantly have to rotate which causes them to end up fronting the opposing center which creates either lob opportunities for those centers.  Or they're asked to hedge hard on pick and rolls which gives easy lanes for the rolling big man or an open skip pass to the weak side where the weak side defender is sprinting to the 3P line to defend.  It just doesn't make sense.  And then the blame falls back on Thon or Henson.

I also see the new owners in this weird place where they brought in a big name coach a few years back and constantly backing those monicker of #OwnTheFuture.  If they fired Kidd, they'd be going into next summer with likely an interim coach and a new coach search.  And this ownership group has showed they can't manage a big hiring like that.  They bungled the GM hiring by messing with Hammond, then messed up the search that followed badly.  Do they really want to go into a new arena with a big question mark for a head coach?  Unless they can pull off some big name Euro coach or something, I don't see it happening.
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cameroncrazies02
The Bucks laid an absolute butt whooping on the Kings last night, up by as much as 35-40 points at some points.  I'm shocked how bad the Kings are, I thought they'd be a lot better.  The Bucks really needed this type of game to give them a boost of confidence, silence the talk about the Giannis/Sweeney incident and also get guys rest.  Giannis didn't play the 4th quarter, Khris only played 23 minutes and was sick and nobody played more than 30 minutes.  What was the most promising was the more straight up defense they played.  They forced A TON of turnovers in the first half and I attribute that to the Bucks being able to just man up on their guy.  Hopefully that stays the same moving forward.  

They're 10-9 right now in the bunched up East.  They play POR, SAC, BOS, DET, DAL in their next 5 games.  POR will be tough, the Bucks played them hard early in the year and won on a little controversial yet monster Giannis game.  They should beat up on SAC again, then two tough games against BOS and DET before facing DAL again who they'll have their eyes set on revenge after an embarrassing 20+ pt loss to them a few weeks ago.  It looks like they'll hover around .500 after these five games as well, but I'm fine with that right now.  Keep playing hard, win games you're suppose to, adjust the defense and stay above .500 around the all-star break when Jabari comes back then let loose in the 2nd half of the season.

Something interesting came up, Zach Lowe said the Bucks will absolutely be players when it comes to the trade deadline and looking to acquire a center.  The center trade market is zero right now, so the Bucks being buyers could be helpful.  Lowe brought up DeAndre Jordan and his inevitable leaving LA at years end.  Jordan is on a player option next year that he'll decline and look to free agency.  So here's what I came up with...

Bucks receive-DeAndre Jordan
Bucks trade-Thon Maker, Mirza Teletovic, Sterling Brown, Matthew Dellavedova, DEN's 19' 2nd rd pick 

LAC receive-Thon Maker, Sterling Brown, Mirza Teletovic, Channing Frye, DEN 19' 2nd rd pick, MIA 20' 2nd rd pick
LAC trade-DeAndre Jordan

CLE receives-Matthew Dellavedova
CLE trades-Channing Frye, 20' MIA 2nd rd pick

Why for MIL-without giving up any real rotational players aside from Thon, you insert a stud center who can defend the rim, set solid picks, and rebound the hell out of the ball.  The prospects of re-signing Jordan are daunting, we'd head into the summer having to re-sign Jabari and Jordan which would be eased by sending on Telly and Delly, but we'd still be over the cap.  It's a bit of a price to pay to give up a former 1st rd pick, last years' 2nd round pick and a future 2nd to potentially get a rental player, but if nothing else, and Jordan walks, we opened up a ton of cap space by trading Telly and Delly.

Why for LAC-Jordan's going to walk, LAC is a complete disaster right now and teams aren't going to be willing to give up major assets to get him knowing he's going to free agency.  They'd pick up Thon and Brown as prospects, Thon could play for them right away, they'd get Frye's expiring and two future 2nd round picks.  They're in complete cap hell right now.  With no center trade market and a lack of sizeable expirings, they're going to hve to take back some salary (Teletovic) to get a deal done.  They won't be in a position for free agency for awhile with Griffin's massive contract (who's already hurt and out for the forseeable future) and Gallinari's signing (who's been less than good).  They need to stockpile as many assets as they can right now to do something.

Why for CLE-I think CLE has their eyes set on a much bigger deal to incorporate the Frye expiring into, but with no other great assets to get another big name player, they may have to settle.  With Isaiah Thomas out and Derrick Rose considering retirement, CLE has almost no PG's on their roster right now.  They'd get Delly back who was a fan favorite, a Lebron buddy for a potential Lebron re-signing and a decent fill in at PG until IT returns.  The hold up may be Delly's contract (2 more years beyond this year).  It'd complicate their cap sheet a bit when trying to re-sign their own next summer and with Iman Shumpert potentially opting into his $10M contract next year, a lot would be up in the air.  But CLE doesn't have time to sit and ponder, because they need to build a winning team now that Lebron will want to stick around.  If IT comes back healthy and they make a run, I don't see any reason Lebron would go elsewhere again.  The other caveat is that CLE is rumored to be a player for Jordan.  Although they don't have the great assets to get a Jordan deal done, would they facilitate another team, especially one in their own division, to get it done?

Just for fun...

PG-Bledsoe, Brogdon
SG-Middleton, Vaughn, Terry
SF-Snell, Jabari, Liggins
PF-Giannis, Wilson
C-Jordan, Henson
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safetysqueezepleezzee11
Does DeAndre Jordan have any control over where he would go on a trade? I cant believe he would want to come to Milwaukee. If he has no choice, I guess he could end up in Milwaukee for the remaider of this season, but there is simply no way he would re-sign with Milwaukee.
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cameroncrazies02
DJ has no control over where he's traded, he doesn't have a no-trade clause.  His contract is this year under contract and has a $24M player option for next season.  I'd say it's 50-50 as to whether he exercises that.  The center market next summer is pretty stout (Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela) so he's not going to get $25M per year in his next contract.  The teams with big cap space in that range also don't necessarily need a guy like Jordan.  Lakers are the only team in a position to win in the coming seasons that have cap space and they are saving that for some of the biggest names on the market.  His "power", which we're seeing from some guys now in his same contractual situation, is that he can say he definitely won't re-sign with that team if they trade for him which would negate a trade.  

The Bucks, every other night, look like they need Jordan.  Then on opposing nights, they look fine with Henson/Thon.  They're always going to get slammed by bigger bodied centers, but the concern with Jordan would be his true lack of spacing for the team which is already lacking perimeter shooting.  Teletovic is the only bigger contract to make salaries match that is remotely appealing.  He's expiring next summer and can still shoot.  I'd be hard pressed to include him, and only if Middleton wasn't in the deal.  And look, we're not trading Middleton unless we get something serious back and Jordan is only a slight to good upgrade over Henson at this point.

Speaking of Henson, he was looking untradeable at one point.  But he has this year plus two more at $11M per year.  He's completely serviceable and at that price, he's worth keeping around.  I'm fairly certain, outside of some very small moves, this is the team we're rolling with.  If anything, we'd consider moving Delly, but we need Teletovic's shooting back.  Jabari is almost a non-tradeable at this point, because you'll get nothing for him and he's worth keeping around for his potential.  And any other deal, we'd be trading younger guys like Wilson or Brown and that'd have to include a future 1st which we're not doing because we'd only have one 1st rd pick in the next 3 years then.
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