On the first day of free agency, the Bucks got right onto the market by signing both Mirza Teletovic and Matthew Dellavedova. Both players have shown in their careers that they are proven shooters from behind the arc, making them valuable additions to the team. The Bucks clearly had these players in mind as targets entering the signing period, and they got the deals done. Although Delly is a restricted free agent, it is unlikely that the Cavaliers will match the Bucks’ offer sheet, so we can look forward to seeing both players on the roster. As Bucks fans, we can expect to see Telly and Delly get plenty of minutes next season as the team looks to get back to the playoffs behind the core of Giannis, Jabari, and Khris.

Mirza Teletovic 

With the first move in free agency for Milwaukee, the Bucks signed Mirza Teletovic, a 6-9 sharpshooter who played for the Phoenix Suns last season, on a three-year contract worth $30-million. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Teletovic joined the NBA in 2012 as a 27-year-old rookie with the Brooklyn Nets. While there, he played under the now-Bucks coach Jason Kidd. He has now played four complete years in the NBA, and he has steadily increased his production every year, as you can see here:

Season Age G MP FG% 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2012-13 27 53 9.4 .384 .343 .484 .818 1.8 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.4 1.0 3.5
2013-14 28 72 19.4 .418 .390 .546 .710 3.7 0.8 0.4 0.3 0.8 2.0 8.6
2014-15 29 40 22.3 .382 .321 .480 .717 4.9 1.2 0.4 0.4 1.3 1.9 8.5
2015-16 30 79 21.3 .427 .393 .544 .774 3.8 1.1 0.4 0.3 1.1 2.0 12.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/1/2016.

These numbers have shown slight increases in points per game just about ever season, and he is coming off his best season shooting the ball. In his career, Teletovic has only started 12 games, so he is accustomed to being an extremely efficient scorer and shooter off the bench. As shown in these stats, however, he can not always be counted on to play every game. He has struggled with injuries in the past that have caused him to miss lots of time. When healthy, he is a terrific option due to how his strengths can affect a unit on the floor.

Photo courtesy via AZ Central.
Photo courtesy via AZ Central.

Strengths

When it comes to Teletovic’s strengths, shooting is clearly number one. He is a knockdown shooter who saw career highs in minutes, shooting percentages, and shooting volume. On a per-36 minutes average, Mirza surpassed the 20-point mark, indicating that he is a reliable scorer as a stretch-4 off the bench. And with the fact that 59.2% of his shots last season were from behind the arc, he is the true definition of a stretch-4. His shooting is great, but his veteran presence is also a nice addition. Although he has only played in the NBA for four years, he has been playing professionally since 2002. He knows his way around the game and could be a good influence on the rest of the roster moving forward. With his shooting ability and locker room presence, Teletovic can help to fill two major holes on the Bucks roster from last season. After losing Dudley and Zaza last year, the Bucks had a huge need for a veteran talent, and Mirza can fill that role next season.

Weaknesses

As for his weaknesses, his injury history ranks the highest. Although Teletovic played in 79 games this season, that was a career high. In two of his four seasons, he has played less than 55 games. Aside from that, his rebounding and defense are not the greatest. His total rebounding percentage is only 9.7% and as a power forward, this is not very good. If Teletovic can get his rebounding percentage back up to around 12%, like he was in 2014-2015, then that would be ideal. Defensively, he struggles due to his lack of speed to guard small forwards and his lack of strength to guard power forwards. Because of that, it is important to have a strong defensive core around him while he’s on the floor. The addition of a defensive-minded center would also be valuable player.

Fit in Milwaukee

Overall, Teletovic is a great fit for Milwaukee. The Bucks were in need of a consistent stretch-4, and his shooting will be great to add to the bench. Behind Jabari Parker, Teletovic is the backup that Milwaukee needs. Along with that, his ability to stretch the floor will help open the court for players like Michael Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo to attack the basket. With his weaknesses, the Bucks are even in a solid position to hide those. His rebounding has been sporadic so far in his career, so if he could consistently have a good season, then the Bucks would have definitely found the perfect player. Defensively, his struggles can be easily covered up. With versatile players like MCW, Giannis, Middleton, and Maker (and Delly, for that matter), Teletovic can be surrounded by talented defenders. Teletovic is a great fit because of the relationship he already has with Jason Kidd. Kidd and Teletovic enjoyed working together when they were in Brooklyn, and that connection will be very important to keep the all-around team chemistry high.

Contract Reaction

Mirza Teletovic signed with the Bucks on a 3-year, $30-million contract. In the current state of the salary cap, this is pretty team-friendly deal. Telly is a true stretch-4 who fits a lot of needs in Milwaukee, and getting him at such a good price is a win for the Bucks. With Jabari Parker looking to develop his shooting ability, working with the 30-year-old could have a solid impact on Parker’s development for the future. Also, Teletovic’s relationship with Kidd makes him a great addition, and at $10M a year, the team got a very good player on a very good deal that leaves several options available to #OwnTheFuture.

-Lukas Harkins.

Matthew Dellavedova

The Bucks have signed Matthew Dellavedova to an offer sheet of 4 years/38.4 million dollars.  The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers will have until July 10th to match the contract, but the Bucks brass is confident the Cavs will let him walk.  The 6’4” Dellavedova is a 25 year old Australian point guard, who played his college ball at Saint Mary’s (CA).

Season Age G MP FG% 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2013-14 23 72 1271 .412 .368 .508 .792 123 187 33 5 60 121 339
2014-15 24 67 1380 .362 .407 .472 .763 126 204 24 2 61 152 319
2015-16 25 76 1867 .405 .410 .501 .864 162 337 44 9 116 178 569
Career 215 4518 .395 .398 .495 .816 411 728 101 16 237 451 1227
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/2/2016.

Matthew has spent the first three years in the NBA playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, quickly becoming a fan favorite for his hustle.  Dellavedova is coming off his best statistical season making a nice contribution off the champion Cavs’ bench unit averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 assists per game, but he probably really earned this contract during his 2015 NBA Finals run, where he slowed down Steph Curry, ending up in the hospital from dehydration, and even helped LeBron with the scoring load.

Photo courtesy via WKYC.
Photo courtesy of WKYC.

Strengths

Delly’s best attribute he’ll bring to Milwaukee is his ability to be a glue guy on the defensive end.  After the 2015-2016 Bucks struggled to keep opposing guards from penetrating for an easy lay in or a wide open three off the kick out, our defense was in desperate need in a player that can make life hectic for the opponent.  With his long frame, Dellavedova should fit in with our all-length line up, tipping passes for the steal, then dishing it to Giannis so he can run the fast break.  In Delly we not only get a good defender, but a player with a team-first attitude willing to play off ball, who can spot up off ball and hit the three with success shooting 40% his last two seasons in the NBA.  Many of the qualities that made rookie Wade Baldwin IV a desirable prospect for the Bucks are shared with Matthew.  It’s hard to argue that Dellavedova isn’t a great fit for our young team on paper, as he is expected to be a team leader from day one next season.

Weaknesses

His most glaring weakness in my eyes is that he’s never been a starting point guard at the NBA level outside of the 2015 Finals where Kyrie Irving was injured.  He hasn’t played the big-time minutes we’ll be asking of him yet, plus we have to worry about his hydration on a nightly basis because he drinks coffee before games to give him a little extra energy. Combining a career high minute load with his coffee habit could cause cramps on any given night, leaving us to rely on Michael Carter-Williams or Tyler Ennis to lead the team to a win.  Another weakness in Matthew’s game is his playmaking ability.  He doesn’t make too many mistakes as the playmaker, but he has a limited ability in getting his teammates an open look.  He’s not the type of point guard that you can kick it too late in the shot clock and expect to get a great look.

Fit in Milwaukee

Although his game isn’t perfect, his fit in Milwaukee is.  The Bucks were in dire need of a point guard with some leadership qualities that could play off-ball, allowing Giannis to keep the reigns as the team’s offensive leader.  He brings that to the team and a defensive prowess that can shut down starting point guards on the occasional night.

My favorite thing that he brings to the table is his three-point shooting ability.  The Bucks needed better floor spacing last season desperately, and now hold the potential to be one of the best floor spacing teams in the league in coming years.  With the additions of Dellavedova and Thon Maker to our core of Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, teams will have to guard us one-through-five making our team one of the more versatile in the league.

Contract Reaction

The Bucks signed Matthew Dellavedova to the very reasonable contract figures of 4 years and 38.4 million dollars.  Most key bench players have been getting 10 million a year so far in free agency, and the Bucks found their starting point guard for slightly less.  Even if you aren’t a fan of Dellavedova, it’s hard to argue that we shouldn’t have signed him, considering how well he fits with our core, for this price.

-Reid Mueller

 

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