Words By B. L. Lauvray | @BrianYarvual
The trade deadline is looming and teams that are antsy to pull the trigger are getting delirious from too many uppers and not enough zzz’s. Since we don’t have anything better to do, we’ll be poppin the amphetamines right alongside the NBA’s hungry and desperate. First up? Let’s breakdown the Bay City and Brew City trading key figures from both squad’s respective “Island of Misfit Toys”-rosters.
Golden State Gets Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson
“Hey Andrew, longtime listener, first-time caller, how’s the ankle? how’s the arm? how’s the pscyhe?” Love how the Bucks tried to forge an inside-outside offense around him and Mr Mercurial, Brandon Jennings. Still, following his one-man carwreck on the breakaway dunk, and the subsequent dislocated elbow, broken hand and sprained wrist, Bogut has not been quite so effective. Following his shattered ankle on January 25 of this year? Sheesh. Star-crossed and-snake bitten.
It makes sense for the Bucks to want to restore some good juju to the Bradley Center and simply ask “What if” later, down the road, if Bogut recovers to return to his (admittedly nasty and dominant) big man form. And honestly, this demands the question, were the Warriors too willing to let Monta and (big of the future) Ekpe Udoh go for too little? Bogut, at this point, is a seven-foot question mark. While Stephen Jackson is a malignancy with a personality disorder and has a serious case of “checks his jump shot can’t cash.” I hate to be the one to break it to you, myself and Stephen Jackson, but 2007 was five years ago and time makes fools of us all, Cap’n Jack/Warriors Front Office Cogs.
For the Warriors running with Steph Curry, Bogut (next season, he’s not going to be around this year), Dorrell Wright (if still on the squad) and David Lee? I like this outfit in Oakland. Steph and Dorrell can still “run, shoot, run, shoot,” while Bogut and Lee can cause fits in the paint on offense and the Aussie can help cover up David Lee’s shortcomings on defense. Meanwhile, Andris Biedrins can happily be relegated to the second squad wherein he can wreak his own rebounding, weird, spiky-haired-havoc against the bench mops and also-rans. With Stephen Jackson? The Warriors should simply try to shop him to a championship contender, looking for a stretch two, who, can sometimes, still, get hot.
Milwaukee Gets Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, the ghost of Kwame Brown
Scott Skiles, noted for his defensive mind and taskmaster mentality, NOT his patience for “lollygagging” or “shooting from wherever I’m cool with, Coach,” gets Monta, another Mr Mercurial to match with Brandon Jennings. Ellis, a top-five guard on nights he wants to be, should, with Brandon, be must-see TV. If anything, the Bucks now have the firepower to go gun-to-gun with any team in the league. Yes, really. The Bucks have surprising depth, and, aside from being a bit undersized in the front court, can now, if Skiles deigns his temper and defensive mentality permissible to allow it, run and frolic with the notion of being a “We Believe! Warriors”-Midwest version.
In any case, yeah, the Bucks have two guys who can pop off for 50+ on a given night and that should be enough for them to shoot their way out of the regular season cantina and into a four or five game first-round exit to Miami or Chicago (or gasp! Indiana or Orlando if they get some breaks). Shedding Stephen Jackson? This makes Scott Skiles’s heart lighter and maybe he’ll reconsider taking his house off the market, and maybe, if there’s a playoff run, the Bucks ownership will take him off the hot seat. Whatever, this is the way Skiles does things and he’ll flame out if the team doesn’t first.