With the off-season under way one team has made a huge impact in the free agent market; the Milwaukee Bucks. As of today July 13th the Bucks have added Andrew Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova, Michael Redd, Bobby Simmons, and Dan Gadzurich to their Roster. Redd and Gadzurich played for the Bucks last season but have agreed to re-sign to long term contracts this off-season.
The Bucks off-season really began during the NBA draft lottery when they were lucky enough to land the number one pick and be able to draft Utah center Andrew Bogut. For years the Bucks have needed an inside presence who could rebound and block shots, Andrew Bogut fits the bill perfectly. His six-foot-ten-inch frame will provide the Bucks great depth in the front court and his ability to pass will open up shots for Buck shooters like Redd and Desmond Mason. The Bucks also drafted Ersan Ilyasova from Turkey. Ilyasova probably will go the way of Szymore Szewczyk and stay overseas for a few season before joining the Bucks.
Michael Redd was among the top free agents this off-season and the Bucks quickly convinced him to re-sign with them; giving him a max deal in the process. The Bucks were worried Redd might try to jump ship again. After his second year in the NBA Redd signed an offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks only to have it matched by the Bucks. Redd shooting ability provides the Bucks with a great offensive punch, add that with finally having a reliable big man and the Bucks could be a threat in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks lured away Bobby Simmons from the Los Angeles Clippers. Simmons who was the NBA’s Most improved player last year had a career season with the Clippers in all statistical categories. Simmons will provide the Bucks with much needed depth off the bench. His long body and shooting ability makes him difficult to defend.
Dan Gadzurich will be a solid bench player for the Bucks, he has started off and on the last two seasons but with Bogut now manning the center spot, the Bucks can move Gadzurich to the bench and like Simmons he will provide much needed depth.
The Bucks also got good news when doctors told them that 2003 first round pick TJ Ford is able to play again. Ford injured his spinal cord in a fall in February 2004 and hasn’t played since. Ford and veteran Maurice Williams will give the Bucks a great combination at the point guard spot.
Many analysis think the Bucks will fail to reach the play-offs, I disagree because the addition of a few small but meaningful parts is all it will take to turn this team around.