Milwaukee Bucks Off-Season Preview

R. TaylorContributor IJune 30, 2009

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 4:  Michael Redd #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks calls for the ball during a game against the Chicago Bulls at the Bradley Center on March 4, 2007 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The Bulls won 126-121.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Draft Recap: Brandon Jennings of Virtus Roma (Italy) the high school star from Compton, California was a great pick by the Bucks. Jennings is one of the few rookies I feel will have an immediate impact as soon as the season starts. The only thing that could possibly stop Jennings from being the starting point guard is if the Bucks really want to keep Ramon Sessions and match a contract offer he is sure to get during free agency.

Scott Skiles the coach of the Bucks is a traditional no non-sense basketball mind. He played in the arguably the best era of the NBA. So he knows what kind of players he wants on the court competing for him. Skiles wants a “set the table” type of point guard.

That means a point guard who is pass-first as well as a floor general. Jennings is all those things. Jennings also brings excitement and flash with him which may or may not bode well with Skiles. The Bucks spent a second round picks on shooting guard Jodie Meeks from Kentucky.

At 6’4, Meeks is considered an undersized guard and lacks the athleticism or length to compensate which probable hurt his stock. Meeks reminds me of Ben Gordon. He is not as good as Gordon, but he can be a long range threat off the bench for the Bucks. Besides Michael Redd, the Bucks don’t really have a lot of three point threats on the roster and Meeks can fill that role.

OFF-SEASON MOVES: More than likely the Bucks are going to let guard Ramon Sessions walk. I think Sessions is a stud, he has really impressed when given the chance to play. If he goes to the right team he will be a player to look out for. By selecting Jennings, I think the Bucks showed they are moving in a different direction with the franchise. After the team traded for forward Amir Johnson from the Detroit Pistons, it was clear that Charlie Villanueva’s time with Bucks was up.

They saved some cap space with this move, but Villanueva is clearly the better player. John Hammond, the new general manager of the Bucks was part of the front office team that was responsible for the Pistons drafting Johnson a few years back out of high school. So it is clear that Hammond really likes Johnson and may see him as a more suitable replacement.

CONCLUSION: Bucks GM John Hammond is putting his stamp on the Bucks this year. He is letting Villanueva walk and depending on the free agent market may also let Sessions walk. The Bucks are slightly rebuilding and at the same time clearing up cap space.

They have a few players in place of who they want to build around. With the money the have freed up after the Jefferson trade & letting go of Villanueva the Bucks need to get another big man who can complement center Andrew Bogut in the paint.

They also need to get a scoring swing man who can help relieve pressure off star guard Michael Redd. Expect the Bucks to be active during free agency. If the Bucks can stay healthy and develop some chemistry they should easily vie for a playoff spot in the eastern conference.