Bucks: Dalembert Trade and the 2012 NBA Draft

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by Andrew Coughlin

Alright, a lot has happened to the Bucks in the past few days approaching the draft so, I will attack this on two fronts.

First.

The Dalembert Trade

At first glance, this was a surprise, but when I thought about it, it really wasn't.  John Hammond is in the last year of his contract and needs to win now.  The Bucks have to make the playoffs in order for Hammond to get his contract extended.  Bucks make playoffs = Hammond new contract.

Hammond unloaded three bench players and two picks back in the draft for arguably one of the best defensive centers in the NBA.

Samuel Dalembert is 31-years-old and at the tail end peak of his prime.  He also is an expiring contract, very attractive pieces in the business end of the NBA.  If he doesn't work out the way Hammond envisioned, it's still a high reward, low risk move because they could just say good-bye to him at the end of the year and use his departing cap space to sign a free agent.

Milwaukee needed a veteran center in a bad way and this trade solves that instantly.  Now, teams looking to attack the paint against the Bucks, which happened a lot last year without Andrew Bogut, will have to think twice with Damlembert, and two of the younger centers (Udoh and Sanders) manning the front-court.

I like this trade.  The Bucks got a starting center and became a deeper team, while also trimming the fat from their bench.  This trade was a steal.

Second.

The Draft

This move directly correlates to what Milwaukee will now do in the draft.  They have their starting center and got deep at the 4 and 5 positions.  Before this trade I would have put money on the Bucks taking one of the many young, talented big men in this years' draft, but now I'm not so sure.  Of course, this doesn't rule out them taking a big man, which they could still grab at the 14th pick. 

Taking a look at their starting rotation, they have all spots filled except the 3 and the one thing the Bucks could definitely use is a long limbed shooter. 

Ersan Ilyasova is as good as gone.  Before the trade I wasn't so sure he was coming back, but now this almost seals his fate entirely.  Who knows what Milwaukee will do with regard to Carlos Delfino?  He's an UFA this year and I doubt the Bucks will sign him.  That leaves 2nd year man Tobias Harris, who could make a jump and fill that void as a scoring SF option.  And do not forget about Mike Dunleavy, who had a surprisingly good season last year and is signed for one more year.

A big, consistent shooter just makes sense here, doesn't it?

Hammond traded down because he has his sights on a particular type of player that he knows will be there for sure when he picks at number 14. 

Here is who I think the Bucks will have a shot at taking:

Jeremy Lamb: SG, 19, 6-5, 179, Connecticut, Soph. - I'd be surprised if Lamb falls this far, but if he does, the Bucks will take him.  Offensively gifted and could be a nice compliment to a small starting back-court, which the Bucks have.  There are rumblings that he may need shoulder surgery and thus could fall in the draft.

Terrence Ross: SG/SF, 21, 6-7, 197, Washington, Soph. - He's a sharp shooting, long, wing player that would be a perfect fit for the Bucks.  Lots of scoring potential, little defensive potential.

Terrence Jones: PF, 20, 6-9, 252, Kentucky, Soph. - Jones is more of a PF, but could be asked to play the 3 position.  He can do a bit of everything.  His defense would be very suspect at PF and he can shoot, so playing the 3 in the NBA wouldn't be unreasonable for him.

Here are a  few mock draft predictions:

Meyers Leonard: C, 20, 7-1, 250, Illinois, Soph. - Jonathan Givony - sports.yahoo.com

Perry Jones III: PF, 20, 6-11, 234, Baylor, Soph. - Adam Wells - bleacherreport.com

Tyler Zeller: C, 22, 7-0, 247, North Carolina, Senior - Jeff Goodman - cbssports.com

Jeremy Lamb: SG, 19, 6-5, 179, Connecticut, Soph. - Matt Moore - cbssports.com

 Note: I was reading an article about biggest busts for the #1 overall pick in the NBA draft and of course Kwame Brown was on it.  I thought: what team is Kwame Brown on now?  Is he even in the league anymore?  Oh yeah, he's on the Bucks roster!  Score!

Send emails to acoughlin@cbs58.com.

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