I sat down with longtime Bucks fans and new Cream City Central writer Reid Mueller to debate trades for the Bucks three most controversial players. Hope you enjoy.
Case For Trade:
If you are trading Jabari Parker, you better be sure you are getting a young potential filled guard back, but why would you trade Parker? I personally am on the fence here, and the offer would have to blow me away. Roughly; the premise is that you either are not sold on Parker’s long term potential or you don’t like the fit. I guess I fall more into the latter camp; I think Khris is a natural three and Giannis a natural four. That leaves Jabari squeezed out of my long term plans.
In terms of potential, there are serious red flags on his defense and shooting abilities a 70ish games into his NBA career. You only trade him if you do not think he can correct those. Trading him would without a doubt be a long term risk, but the returns could offset it. Imagine getting Brooklyn’s top 3 pick this year, you essentially get a chance to reset your decision, Bill Simmons proposed deal for Deangelo Russel also seems like a great deal in my eyes, because of his elite court vision he has showcased in an up and down rookie year.
The risk in keeping Jabari comes with asset value depreciation, Jabari still has a ton of league wide value, but in examining recent NBA history we know how quickly value can tank. Take Derrick Williams for example, when the Timberwolves took him second overall, he had a ton of value; two years later Williams was traded for two secound round picks. Jabari has a lot of similarities with the former top prospect, athletic tweener forward who can’t shoot or guard. I think Jabari does turn out to be a much better player, (especially shooting wise) but the risk is there. -Alexander Juneau
Case Against Trade:
Jabari Parker was left off the Bucks management’s untouchable list heading towards the deadline. Concerns of fit with Giannis Antetokounmpo heads the lists of reasons why trading Jabari while his stock is still high should be considered. Both players seem to be best off with the ball in their hands steamrolling towards the rim. The other main concern, assuming we don’t want to depress ourselves discussing his defensive abilities, is how capable a shooter he becomes.
Jason Kidd has mentioned that Jabari isn’t ready to stretch the floor yet…Jabari seems to be under the same restrictions as Giannis last season. Learn to play inside, then insert an outside presence to offset your awesome inside game. I question the plan, but whatever point being we simply haven’t seen Jabari shoot yet, or really even seen him use his offensive skill set whatsoever. The current Bucks squad is really struggling, ignoring the defensive end (if the team can, so can I), our spacing has to be our biggest issue. Jabari adding just the corner three would make a big difference, slightly more room to operate for everyone.
Sadly, I don’t expect to see Jabari get the green light for the rest of the season. An offseason to work on his craft and having dunked enough times to be allowed to shoot a three will make all the difference. Patience. It’s too early to trade our young prize. Remember he’s a prize. For some odd reason, MCW is good enough of a three point shooter to hoist the occasional attempt up, yet Jabari isn’t allowed an attempt all season. I just find it hard to believe that Jabari is that bad of a shooter. Maybe the idea is to make him fight in tight spaces to regain confidence in his knee? Regardless the reason, we have yet to see the real Jabari Parker. Patience. If it doesn’t work out, we have something to complain about. Just as good. –Reid Mueller
Case Against Trade:
Look, Michael Carter-Williams hasn’t met most of our expectations, but without a clear upgrade within reach, I think we’re married to him. We didn’t sign a prenup, we’ll be on the losing end if we break up, let’s build a shed out back and try to make the best of this.
It’s never been a secret that MCW is a poor shooter with a high turnover rate. I don’t think he’s the point guard we need when he’s leading the offense. That being said, he does have tremendous defensive potential. As Patrick Beverley has shown, a lock-down defender at the point guard position is worth a below average offensive arsenal. The key to Patrick Beverly is playing him off ball on offense, allowing him to keep the defense honest as a spot up shooter while reserving his energy to lock down his match-up on the other end.
Going forward, I think MCW would be best served following the same plan. We keep hearing that the Bucks need a Patrick Beverly/George Hill type point guard to match with Giannis and Jabari. A low usage point guard that allows our potential stars to lead the Bucks with the ball in their hands. The thing is, we already have that player in MCW.
By playing MCW as a pseudo point guard on offense, we limit his negatives, and put Jabari and Giannis in a better situation to succeed. Now, Mike isn’t on the same level as a shooter as George Hill/Patrick Beverly, really he isn’t even in the same conversation as a near 30% three point shooter, but if he can just improve marginally to say 33%, we’re keeping the defense honest on him. Under this game plan, MCW limits his mistakes and gives our defense a building block to start digging out of this hole. Plus, Giannis seems to like him, and we need to go as far out of our way as possible to keep our untouchable youngster in good graces. -Reid Mueller
Case For Trade:
The biggest argument against Mike is his fit with Jabari and Giannis. The Bucks need to surround Giannis and Jabari with shooters, they are both excellent at driving, imagine what they could do with more space. I know its only MCW’s third NBA year, but he is 24. That cannot be overlooked, this is probably his 12th or so year of organized basketball, what are the odds he all of a sudden learns to shoot. He has played guard his entire life basically, if it
hasn’t come yet, I just don’t really think it ever is.
He also turns the ball over at absurd rates, which isn’t good for a guy who is supposedly a plus passer. I think the biggest argument against trading him is that his value is so low. I actually disagree with that, he has shown he is the 20-40th best PG conversation and there are teams where he would fit. He has one extremely cheap year left, and then will be a Restricted Free Agent so he will be under team control as long as your willing to pay. MCW can develop into an elite defender with the right coach, but I don’t think an elite defending non-shooting PG is what Milwaukee needs.
I don’t think the Bucks can get a great return by any means, but if they can grab something that can help out long term it will mean a lot to future Bucks playoff teams. -Alexander Juneau
Case For Trade:
Much like the last two Monroe is not a great fit here in Milwaukee. Pairing a non defending center with Jabari is just a really bad idea. He helps the offense a bit, but in a relatively small sample size the offense has actually been better with Henson and the 4 starters than Monroe and the 4 starters.
I think Monroe’s value wanes in an NBA that is increasingly devaluing post scoring. Looking at the contenders none of them have low post scorers, unless you still count Duncan, which I do not. He is a paint clogger, because of how his buckets come, Henson meanwhile is an aggressive cutter for lobs, which does more to create spacing down low.
I think Monroe’s value has peaked, because of his contract situation, if you trade him now the team has two playoff cycles with him. If you wait until the summer they only have one season and less time to gel. In return I’d just like a capable rotation guard and maybe a pick. Monroe is a great guy and a New Orleans native, rumor has it they really want him: Let Greg Go Home. -Alexander Juneau
Case Against Trade:
Another talented Milwaukee Buck has been rumored to be on the move. Greg Monroe, who came here to win, hasn’t exactly worked out this season. He’s put up borderline All-Star numbers averaging 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds as our go to guy on the offensive end, but struggled mightily on the defensive end leading many around the league to wonder if he’s a fit with the Bucks going forward, a team that relies on the last line of defense in its defensive schemes. No one in the league is afraid to drive against the Jabari/Moose frontcourt, for if you get your shot blocked this time around, next time you’re statistically guaranteed to get a shot up.
Oh, that’s not right? Correlation does not equal what exactly? Ehhh…you’re pretty much going to get your shot up at will against them, alright? But, is that cause to trade our talented big man?
Not yet. The Bucks defense did just fine by a low shot blocking center last season. It’s true that the league has figured out the Bucks heavy switching defense through ball rotation, but the big difference between this year’s post defense and last years is that Zaza and Ersan were willing to knock some dudes on their ass. So even though our frontcourt didn’t block many shots last season, the opposing team still had to consider the physical toll they were about to take, whereas this seasons front court would prefer not to touch anyone until bar time. That being said, if Moose decides to take out less of his aggression on the reffs and more on the other team, I think our defense improves. With Jabari adding a little mean streak, we could be back to an average defensive team.
As for the offensive end, it gets made to be a big deal that Moose is a back to the back center. “He clogs up driving lanes!” Yes, yes he does. But that’s because every player outside of Khris Middleton needs to head straight for the rim. Under the circumstances that Jabari and Giannis improve their shooting going into next season, we’re going to be fine with Moose at Center. Trust me the guy is smart enough to glide to the soft spot on the floor when Giannis is going in for a tomahawk. And as we saw against the Celtics, it’s not bad thing to have the options to go to the block in crunch time.
Unless Kareem is finally ready for his 2nd stint, I think we should just maybe keep around a talented center for a while. How many of those want to be a Milwaukee Buck? -Reid Mueller