The biggest move of the move day came when power forward Hakim Warrick agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks, his agent Bill Duffy announced. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but the offer is expected to be more than $3 million.
The 27-year-old was the 19th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and spent all four years with them. In those four years, Warrick has averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 0.4 blocks.
This past season, Warrick achieved career highs in steals and rebounds, and saw himself much improved on the defensive end of things. Playing primarily in a back-up role, he will now have the chance to compete for a starting spot and see many more minutes than his average of just under 25 last season.
For a team running short on cap space as well as depth in the frontcourt, Warrick is a good find for the Bucks and will have major contributions this season. As it is for a lot of players on the Bucks, more playing time will give a few players a chance to shine (Joe Alexander, Amir Johnson, Brandon Jennings, Warrick) and show that their potential can be made into something bigger and better.
Somewhat bigger numbers should be expected from Warrick, but do not expect him to come in and light up the world. His small frame and inability to score on offense has hindered his game his whole career, and neither should change when he suits up for Milwaukee.
My predictions for the 6′9″ power forward are, dependant on Amir Johnson, averages of 12 points and six rebounds per contest. While he is good for the occasional outburst (31 points in a game against the 76ers this year), he is more of a role player and will hopefully play second fiddle to Johnson.
Along with the addition of Ersan Ilyasova, the power forward position is seeing a bit of a logjam but minutes should be available at the small forward position, where Warrick is also capable of playing.
An after-effect of the signing of Warrick is that it more than likely ended the era of Ramon Sessions in Milwaukee. General manager John Hammond has worked his tail off to get his team both competitive and underneath the luxury tax line, and with the signing of Warrick, he sits less than $3 million away from it.
With Brandon Jennings and Luke Ridnour manning the point guard duties, it was almost a sure bet that Sessions would not be back. The Knicks and Clippers have showed plenty of interest in Sessions and would be willing to pay more than the Bucks would want to match.
However, is Sessions does not get a multi-year contract that he is satisfied with, reports say he might be willing to sign a one year deal with the Bucks.
Other moves the Bucks made on Friday included the release of 13-year veteran Bruce Bowen. Bowen, who has spent the last eight seasons as a defensive stopper with the San Antonio Spurs, was part of the deal that him, Fabricio Oberto, and Kurt Thomas to Milwaukee in exchange for Richard Jefferson.
Bowen was set to make $4 million this upcoming year, and releasing him before Saturday saves the Milwaukee Bucks $2 million of that.
The Bucks also requested waivers on point guard Salim Stoudamire. After looking for a change of scenery from the Atlanta Hawks, where he spent the last three seasons, he never made it to a regular season game while on the Bucks.
He struggled in the Summer League, fighting for minutes with rookie Brandon Jennings, who stole the show.
The last deal of the busy Friday the Bucks made was a trade involving veteran Malik Allen, who was traded to the Denver Nuggets for shooting guard Sonny Weems and power forward Walter Sharpe. Weems is expected to be waived in the near future and Sharpe is a youngster with some potential.
The moves once again show John Hammond’s determination to keep the roster young and rebuild while the talent and potential blossoms.