Every contending team has a veteran presence of some sort, Last year’s champs had guys like Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa coming off the bench. The question is are veteran role players easily replaceable or is there a lot of value in keeping the same guys around year after year. James Jones has been following Lebron for the better part of the last decade, but he has never been more than a rotation guy. The Bucks have had guys like Carlos Delfino and Luke Ridnour play big roles for them in the past few years, but no one would say those guys are irreplaceable.
Looking at last years success Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley played big parts in that, but this summer they were traded for second round picks that are unlikely to ever transfer. Now this year both are thriving with their new teams and the Bucks are suffering without them. Now granted Jerryd Bayless has gotten off to a hot start, but is it sustainable? Would the Bucks look different if O.J. Mayo had played the first eleven games?
I think there is a case to be made that a vets performance is essentially a roll of the dice from game to game, their numbers will likely be right near their career averages, but on a game to game basis could vary immensely. For this reason, I think the Bucks will never lock in veterans the way the Heat did or the way the Bulls have with Hinrich and Gibson.
O.J. Mayo: OJ fills a distinct role for this team entering his 3rd and final year under contract with the Milwaukee Bucks: he is a scorer off the bench and locker room voice. He was the team captain last year and is a vocal leader both on and off the court. Of all the guys expiring at the years end, he makes the most sense to come back in my opinion, because he plays a position that will always be in demand off the bench. He also seems to like Milwaukee more than most people do.
Jerryd Bayless: Jerryd has been far and away the best bench player this season. From the Brooklyn game where hit three after three after three to his clutch shot making games, but he was nothing special last year. He like many of Hammonds signings was a Mcdonalds All American in high school. The reason I do not think he is a fit here long term, is how unsustainable his shooting percentages are. In all likelihood he will seek a bigger deal than his current one at the end of the season, but even if that does bring him back to Milwaukee, how will his role change going forward. He can play both back court positions fairly well, but just good is his perimeter stroke. I don’t think he is going to keep up his current pace, it is possible he could become an above average bench guard.
Greivis Vasquez: The Bucks front office paid a handsome sum to bring in Vasquez numbering a future first rounder, last years second rounder, and 6 million dollars in the form of his salary. After a frozen start from the field Greivis’s numbers have started to come back up. He seems to become too ball dominant at times and I think the Bucks would prefer a bench point guard who is either a clear scorer or facilitator, but Vasquez seems to blend the two ineffectively. I think his days in Milwaukee are unfortunately numbered, but given the price Milwaukee gave up for him I feel that the front office might want him here long term.
In my opinion the vets on the Bucks will be constantly changing, they do not currently have any veteran forwards in the rotation, I see that changing between now and the start of next season. It is nearly impossible to predict how many of the aforementioned threesome will be here next year, it truly could be anywhere from 0-3. This trade deadline and the offseason will be interesting ones to see what type of players the Bucks seek to retain and who the Bucks seek to trade.