Bucks trade Bogut, ensure basketball mediocrity for years to come
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The Bucks traded Andrew Bogut and rapper Stephen Jackson last night to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and everyone’s favorite draft bust Kwame Brown. While few wanted to see Bogut traded, his injury history and supposed turmoil with head coach Scott Skiles forced the organization’s hand.
Ellis, currently averaging 21.9 PPG, will team up with Brandon Jennings to create one of the skinniest, least efficient backcourts in the history of the NBA. Jennings and Ellis have combined to miss 827 shots this season, the most by any teammates, and it will be rare that both their shots will ever be on in the same game. Ellis and his ineptitude on the defense end are certain to make the veins in coach Scott Skiles’ neck pop out, and don’t be surprised if Ellis gets benched quickly because of it. But this wouldn’t be a proper Bucks team without a little turmoil. The Bucks hope that Ellis will recreate the magic that John Salmons brought when he was acquired at the deadline during the 2009-10 Fear The Deer campaign.
The underrated aspect of this trade is clearly Ekpe Udoh. One year removed from being the Warriors’ lottery pick, Udoh has hit a groove as of late, averaging an absurd 1.7 blocks per game in just 21.8 minutes. He is a defensive focused center that at the age of 24 is somehow still raw. He will certainly benefit under Skiles, but it is hard to believe he will ever become the presence in the paint that a healthy Bogut already is. In Udoh and Larry Sanders, the Bucks will be faced with the challenge of developing two very raw, very one-dimensional defensive big men.
This trade, along with the recent emergence of Ersan Ilyasova, basically ensures that the Bucks will be making the playoffs this year, and may do some damage. But by not getting draft picks or a young star for Bogut, the Milwaukee Bucks have solidified their place in basketball mediocrity for years to come.