Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interesting Bucks move

The Bucks traded Luc Richard Mbah-A-Moute to the Kings for a 2nd-round pick today in what is basically a salary dump move. Luc signed a 4-year deal for $19 million and was 2 years into that deal with the Bucks. At the time he signed the deal it was a reasonable contract for a role-playing, sometime-starter, defensive specialist. At that time Luc was still just 24 and had some potential to grow his offensive game and develop into a solid starter. That didn't happen over the last 2 seasons in which Luc battled through injuries and missed about a fourth of the games. He remained a quality defensive player but never developed into anything more. At 26 he is still young and can be a valuable role player, but he did not outperform his modest salary. He is now overpaid based on his production, but not ridiculously so.

The question is why make a salary dump. Moves like this usually happen when a team needs salary cap flexibility, something the Bucks probably don't need this year. The Bucks are not going to pay the luxury tax, and there is no free agent they could sign that would require them to make such a maneuver. Sometimes a team will make a move like this to clear playing time for a youngster. If that youngster is the new draft pick Giannis who is not ready for NBA competition then the Bucks may be planning to really tank this season. If they had not made the Reddick trade and still had Tobias Harris then this would fit, but they did.

Do they intend to start Delfino or Ilyasova at the 3? Probably not. There is probably another deal (either free agent or trade) that has yet to be announced but has already been made.

Perhaps this will give the Monta fans hope the Bucks can still sign him with added flexibility. We can still dream until he signs elsewhere.

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