In somewhat of an anticipated move, Beno Udrih has signed his player option worth $7.8 million for the 2012-2013 NBA season, as reported on Wednesday by the Pierce County Herald.
Udrih, who turns 30 in July, played his first season with the Bucks last year after being acquired in the three-team trade that brought Stephen Jackson to Milwaukee.
This last season as a whole was largely disappointing for Udrih. He came to Milwaukee coming off his best season with the Sacramento Kings. During the 2010-2011 season, he averaged 14 points and five assists in nearly 35 minutes per game. He did this while shooting a phenomenal 50 percent from the field.
His first season with the Bucks saw very different results. He found himself without a defined role on the team and received inconsistent minutes. He lost about half of the playing time he saw the season before.
In 59 games played, Udrih averaged just 18 minutes per game. The lack of time contributed to his statistical fall to six points and four assists per game on average for the Bucks.
Udrih became vocal about his frustrations at points during the season and even suggested he might not re-sign with the team. But given the current market, Udrih was unlikely to get a more lucrative contract elsewhere. Coming off of an inconsistent season, the offers were not flowing in terms of high dollar amounts.
The signing will prove to be valuable for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is true they are overpaying for him, but he is a solid bench player who can contribute when given opportunities.
The key for Udrih will be how coach Scott Skiles uses him. If Skiles can give Udrih a sixth man type of role of about 25-30 minutes per game, his production would likely return. The Bucks could use another spark off the bench, and he can fill that role.
Beno Udrih signing for another year with the Bucks does not make the team a contender. But it provides depth and firepower on a bench that was one of the better groups in the NBA last season. Beno Udrih is not the future of the team, but he has the ability to make an impact now.
He just needs to be given more of a chance.