The Weekly Bucks Report is generally understood to be the best weekly blog piece written about the Milwaukee Bucks. It is written by CH Correspondent Two Name, who somehow managed to stop sniffling about Andrew Bogut's broken back long enough to provide the analysis below. For the time being, it is posted every Tuesday morning on CH.
So, who do you pay? Ramon Sessions or Charlie Villanueva?
That question came to mind after watching Sessions and Smooth keep the Bucks in the game against Detroit Saturday before falling short. Both guys displayed what seems like unlimited potential against the Pistons, and while it would be nice to have them both again next year with a healthy roster, it probably won’t happen. So, who do you want?
With the Bucks hovering around $69 million in salaries this season ($35.5 million of which is in street clothes), there’s no way the man in the green blazer will break the bank and pay the luxury tax. Both Villanueva and Sessions are restricted free agents, and since they will see extended playing time the rest of the year to showcase their talents, both guys will be looking for a nice pay raise.
Charlie V is making $3.5 million this year and has a qualifying offer for $4.6 million next season. Ramon is making a meager $711,000 this year. I think Villanueva’s name and former draft status carries a little more weight than Ramon’s at this point, so it seems more likely that Charlie V will be the one to command more money and play somewhere else next season. But point guards are hard to come by, so if Sessions keeps impressing, someone with more cash than the Bucks could make a run at him.
This is the time when Danny G’s $14 million over the next two seasons really hits hard. If I had to choose, I would let Big Smooth go and focus on Ramon. I think he’s the point guard of the future and will flourish under the tutelage of Scott Skiles. Villanueva has won me over as the season’s progressed, but I think he’s the type of guy who will get comfortable after signing a big deal.
It’s tough to find a 6-11 player who can shoot, rebound and get to the basket, but it’s even tougher to find a floor leader who is committed to being a pass-first point guard. The Bucks have that in Sessions and need to pay him at year’s end. However, the Bucks do have Luke Ridnour signed through next season, so maybe they could give the reins to Luke and find a point guard in the draft. What do you guys think?
Token move: The Orlando Magic needed a point guard. The Bucks needed someone to play shooting guard. Want to make a deal? In a move that sent shockwaves through the NBA, Milwaukee acquired Keith Bogans for Ty Lue this week. The Bucks actually drafted Bogans in the second round of the 2003 draft. They traded him on draft night for straight cash, homey. He is averaging 5 points and 3 rebounds this season, but he is known for tough defense, so we got that going for us, which is nice. Hard to believe, but this guy was the SEC player of the year in 2002-2003 at Kentucky. My biggest memory of Bogans is watching D-Wade and the Golden Eagles oust his Wildcats in the Elite 8 in Minneapolis. I was at the game, and I’m sure I yelled some drunken slurs at him at one point or another. Welcome to Milwaukee, bud. I’m sure getting traded from one of the best teams in the East residing in one of the best cities in the country is sitting well with you right now.
So much for that: Past Weekly Bucks Reports have delved into the rigors of the Bucks’ schedule during the first half of the season. I was waiting for things to even out, and just when balance was about to be restored, 60 percent of the starting lineup is in street clothes. Milwaukee has 18 of its next 29 games at home. Unfortunately, those who pay for a ticket will see good effort every night but not enough victories to keep the Bucks in the playoff race. I consider myself to be a big fan, but I won’t be making the trip from Chicago to see Francisco Elson or Danny G start at center or Damon Jones and Bogans share time at the 2-spot.
Player of the week: Sessions was unstoppable against Detroit on Saturday. It seems like every time he has a chance to shine – see last year when the season was in the tank or when Redd got hurt earlier this year – he proves to be a silver lining. It was hard to eclipse his 24-assist performance against Chicago at the end of last season, but Ramon did by single-handedly keeping the Bucks in the game against Detroit. It was nice seeing someone light up A.I. He’s done it enough to us over the years, especially in the BC.
This week: Another slow week has the Bucks hosting Indiana tomorrow night. Then they don’t play until next Tuesday in Detroit. I guess any practice time would be good right now, seeing as Skiles is coaching with what essentially is a new lineup due to injuries.