Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bucks/Warriors Trade

On Tuesday the Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. While it doesn't come off as a blockbuster trade and involves two teams that aren't near contention now, I think it made decent sense for both teams.

The Bucks now have another shot creator, which will take some of the burden off of Brandon Jennings. With a usage rate of 26 and 17 field goal attempts per game, he could use the help. Jennings isn't a very efficient offensive weapon and while Ellis has been tagged as overrated, he can still create good looks. The best part for the Bucks is that both players are enjoying career lows in turnover rate, so its not as if combining the two is going to make for an out of control style. Udoh is a veritable mess offensively and not a great rebounder for his level of athleticism, but he seems to have some value defensively, which will be important in replacing Bogut. At this point, the name Kwame Brown is GM code for "trade filler."

While the Bucks upgraded at 2 and added some potential with Udoh, I really think the Warriors got the better end of the deal. True, they will probably lose a good amount this season. However, they have a top-7 protected pick this year that goes to Utah if they do too well. I think this pick is safe now. Stephen Jackson probably isn't going to produce much now and isn't a factor for the future.

The real victory comes in getting Bogut. Ellis' gaudy scoring totals are nice, but Golden State was always better without him on the court and his goodness of fit with Curry had been doubted from day one. Bogut is a monster defensively, averaging over 2 blocks a game for the past 3 seasons and anchoring one of the league's best defenses last year. Bogut is also a fantastic rebounder (8th among centers who play more than 15 minutes per game). He was never a supreme offensive player, but the Warriors will hope that he bounces back from a career low 44.9 field goal percentage to something in 50s again. I would imagine that as injuries become less of a problem, he will return to form. Paired with David Lee, though, he won't have to be spectacular offensively. He can continue to get tips and flips around the rim while David Lee creates shots from the high post. Bogut will also be able to cover up the defensive shortcomings of Lee.

With a budding young point guard in Curry and a formidable, if earthbound, frontcourt, the Warriors have set up a nice foundation with which to move forward. Now if all these guys can just stay healthy.

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