The Milwaukee Bucks made it official on Thursday by announcing they have traded Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander, whose contracts both expire at the end of the season, to the Chicago Bulls for John Salmons.
The Bucks also have the option of switching first-round picks in this year's draft, provided the Bulls' pick isn't in the top 10. The Bulls added second-round draft choices in 2011 and 2012.
Warrick, a 6-9 power forward, averaged 10.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in half of a season with the Bucks. Alexander, the eighth overall pick in 2008, has battled a hamstring injury this season and hasn't played.
Salmons has a $5.8 million player option for next season that the Bulls didn't want to deal with as they clear space to be a major player in free agency this summer. Salmons will fill in for injured shooting guard Michael Redd.
"He's a good pro guard," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of Salmons. "He's been a solid player for quite a while, and we feel like we still need to solidify one of our perimeter spots, especially with Michael out. So it made sense."
(story courtesy ESPN.com)
(photo courtesy NBA.com)
I think that this move makes the Bucks better for sure. Will it put them over the top and clinch the 8th seed? Maybe.
Alexander never did anything close to remarkable in his rookie year, unless you consider being a candidate to be voted into the dunk contest (which he lost) an accomplishment. It's safe to say he has been a bust, regardless of how much time he spent in Milwaukee.
Warrick is an energetic and emphatic player, but he doesn't play a whole lot of defense, and coach Scott Skiles heavily promotes strong 'D'. Thankfully we'll now be spared from watching his ugly fade-away jumper from the top of the key. He can be a quality player when given proper minutes, but he's not much better than a decent backup.
Salmons will likely take over for Charlie Bell in the starting lineup, and on some nights Carlos Delfino. His versatility is nice, and he should be the third scoring option for the Bucks.
What's even more important are the draft picks that the Bulls included. Milwaukee will have the option of switching first round picks in this year's draft as long as Chicago's pick isn't within the top 10. The Bulls will also send a second round pick in 2011 and 2012.
Overall, I think this trade is a win for the Bucks. They have an opportunity of making the playoffs AND receiving a lottery pick, both of which are important for the resurgence of this franchise. Playoff experience is needed for the young roster and the best way to build a team is through the draft. It'll be exciting to see what Salmons can do for the Bucks and hopefully we'll still be watching them play when the regular season is over.