The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard/forward Jerry Stackhouse to a contract for the rest of the season. The Bucks will be the fifth team in Stackhouse's 14-year career. He previously played for Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, and Dallas.
The signing of Stackhouse will serve as a replacement move of sorts for the Bucks who lost Michael Redd for the remainder of the season last week.
Bringing in Stackhouse is a great public relations move for a team that typically only fills about half of their home arena. Stackhouse is a known commodity that even casual fans know. His addition gives the Bucks another player to come watch in Redd's absence.
Stackhouse only played in 10 games last year, and he isn't in NBA game shape at this point, according to Bucks coach Scott Skiles. His minutes will increase as he plays himself into game shape.
If Stackhouse can score anywhere near his 18.4-a-game career average, he'll be another offensive weapon to go along with Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut. Stackhouse could be a key component to a potential Bucks playoff push.
On the surface, the signing of Stackhouse seems like a no-lose situation for the Bucks. However, when taking a closer look, his signing is bad for the future of the franchise.
Michael Redd's injury should have served as the catalyst to see rookie Jodie Meeks get more playing time. Although Charlie Bell became the starter and is ahead of Meeks on the depth chart, Meeks is younger, quicker, and more athletic than Bell.
The same can be said when comparing the rookie to Stackhouse, as well. Stackhouse will become the likely starter once he is ready physically, only diminishing Meeks' role with the team.
The Bucks are in a youth movement, and the Bucks have a potential superstar duo in the backcourt with Jennings and Meeks. The team should be playing the pair as much as possible, even if it costs the team a playoff berth in 2010. It's better to experience growing pains this year instead of pushing it off another year.
Stackhouse's addition could also adversely affect Jennings as well. The foot and knee injuries Stackhouse dealt with last year could return, limiting his ability to run and slash on the offensive end of the court. He would become another Redd, unable to be a slasher and turn into a stationary jump shooter.
Jennings' play suffered this year when Redd was healthy and the offense became stagnant for long periods of time. At the beginning of the season, Jennings was hailed as the next great point guard.
Stunting his growth with a player who can't play at his tempo will hurt both his and the team's growth for success in the future.
Fans will be excited at the prospect of their team signing a "name" player. It will give them hope that the team is serious about competing and doing what it takes to make the playoffs.
They have long hoped for a winning team to return to the Bradley Center, but while this appears to be the start of such a trend, the reality is management just delayed a chance for future success to take place.
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