By Charles Jay
Some people may have been a little shocked that the Milwaukee Bucks would risk some of the great team chemistry they developed by trading away the young man who was their on-court leader. But what took place just prior to the trade deadline was something that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those who are intimately familiar with what this team’s long-range plans are.
BetAnySports customers know that point guard Brandon Knight, who was really coming into his own in his fourth year in the NBA, was shocked, saddened and perhaps even a little hurt at the deal that sent him to the Phoenix Suns. And we can imagine that those people who have watched Milwaukee this season – a team that won only 15 games last year but now has a firm grip on the #6 spot in the Eastern conference playoff order, at the very least – would have wondered why the team traded a player who was mentioned as a possible All-Star by many, and who may be the one individual most responsible for this team’s resurgence.
The Bucks have long- term goals, and even though they can keep night and have perhaps a better chance of winning now, he was not guaranteed to be there for the long run. Indeed, he is going to be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and Milwaukee elected to bring aboard some players who they could control a little longer.
One of the people they got in the three-way deal, from the Philadelphia 76ers, is 6′ 7″ point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who was last season’s rookie of the year and is a performer of considerable promise. Carter-Williams was also quite surprised that he was dealt away by the Sixers, as he saw himself as a key figure in their rebuilding process. But the Sixers preferred to get a first-round draft choice instead.
BetAnySports patrons will now see Milwaukee going through a period of at least some adjustment, plus they will have to wait for it, as Carter-Williams will be out for about a week with a toe injury. The opinion of Jason Kidd and the team’s management is that they are not going to hurt their playoff chances with this move. Indeed, it is very difficult to question Kidd, who has been much-maligned but has pressed a lot of the right buttons, both this year and last year when he was the coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He lost out on a power struggle in Brooklyn as he wanted to overthrow generalmanager Billy King, but the Bucks have given him more free reign with personnel, and he has done a great job with personnel that did not include a lot of established stars, doubling the club’s 2013-14 win total already.
When you consider that troubled shot-blocking stud Larry Sanders has not played since December (and is likely to be bought out of his contract) and that rookie Jabari Parker, who is having an excellent maiden season, is out injured, it is really quite amazing what Kidd has done – certainly enough to make him the front runner for coach of the year honors.
So how far will the Bucks (+7500 to win the East at BetAnySports) go in the playoffs? Oddly, that doesn’t seem to be their biggest priority at the moment. What they are looking ahead to is a time when they can go into the post-season festivities as the first or second seed, and stop being just a team of the future.
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