First thing's first: pay that man. Ramon Sessions has been the biggest question for those select few that follow the Milwaukee Bucks, but I'm summing it up with those three words.
He's strong with the ball when he drives into the lane, can score the ball amongst opposing big men, and, most importantly for a point guard, makes solid decisions with the ball. The smartest thing Milwaukee can do is keep Sessions around for a few more years.
Now, on to a few more pressing questions.
Secondly, we'll talk about the guy at the two. Michael Redd will be coming off of ACL surgery from last season, which is always a touchy situation for a professional basketball player. Will he be able to do all the things he can do when he's healthy?
And even if he does, will the decidedly offensively focused Redd committ to the defensive philosophies of head coach Scott Skiles.
While I can't answer the first question, I think there is a response for the second question. Last season, Redd showed, in his limited time, a new dedication to defense under Skiles that was missing in seasons past. Only time will tell whether or not he will be the offensive Michael Redd of years past.
Another issue revolving around Redd and teammate Richard Jefferson is whether or not the Bucks will trade either of those players. The rumors have been swirling around Redd for years and they started with Jefferson before he even put on his red Milwaukee uniform. As I move on to talk about the big men, keep this possibility in mind.
Charlie Villanueva will be a restricted free agent this summer, so Milwaukee will have to decide what to do with him. Following his best season in his career, there will be teams looking to add him to their rosters. I think the Bucks ought to let him go.
Before his contract year this year, Villanueva had always been inconsistent in some facet of his game. I'm not sure he can be trusted to continue playing the way he did in 2008-2009. With a new opening at the four, Milwaukee will have a need to be filled that can be handled through a trade using Jefferson as a major component in the package.
With the void created by a Jefferson trade, Milwaukee would be very comfortable with plugging in defensive and hustle specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the starting lineup at the three. He certainly doesn't score like Jefferson can, but Mbah a Moute's defensive contribution will make up for it.
The one spot in which the Bucks are solid are down low at center. I feel strongly that Andrew Bogut is an underrated player in the NBA. The franchise caught a lot of flak for signing him to a big, long-term contract, but what Bogut brings to the team is hard to replace.
He's a big body and Skiles will get him to use it to clog the lane defensively. He doesn't put huge points up every night, but one thing he does do every night is polish the glass, both offensively and defensively. He's also an excellent team leader, a contribution that can't be understated in the NBA.
My projected starting lineup would be Sessions, Redd, Mbah a Moute, an unnamed power forward, and Bogut. Outside of those five, there will probably only be one bench player that could handle significant minutes, and that's point guard Luke Ridnour.
With the eighth overall pick in the draft, the Bucks might be able to bolster their bench with a draft class that is relatively deep with shooting guards and small forwards. Some one like Chase Budinger, Ty Lawson, or Tyreke Evans could definitely help the Bucks, and if Joe Alexander can grow a little as a player, that would be great for Milwaukee.
Overall, with Skiles and John Hammond at the helm, the future of the Bucks may have become a little less bleak than it was at one point. If the Bucks can start winning consistently, the fans will start filing into the Bradley Center just as they had done in Miller Park.
And maybe, just maybe, the Bucks will avoid meeting the same fate as the Seattle Supersonics or Vancouver Grizzlies.
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