NBA Trade Deadline: John Salmons Traded To the Milwaukee Bucks

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IFebruary 18, 2010

PHOENIX - JANUARY 22:  John Salmons #15 of the Chicago Bulls in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bulls defeated the Suns 115-104.  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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks made a strong push for the playoffs late Wednesday night when they traded for shooting guard, John Salmons.

Originally it was reported that Kurt Thomas and Francisco Elson would be sent to Chicago in the deal. However, former first round draft pick, Joe Alexander and Hakim Warrick were sent packing instead.

Both Alexander and Warrick have expiring contracts and their combined $5.6 million will come off the books in Chicago this summer, giving them around $20 million to sign a big-name free agent this summer.

It was first thought the Bucks would be sellers and not buyers at the deadline, but acquiring the 31-year old Salmons proved too tempting for Bucks' GM, John Hammond.

Although he had become a bench player for the Bulls, it's thought Salmons will become a starter with the Bucks. That move would send Charlie Bell back to the bench, giving the team more options.

This trade could also see Jerry Stackhouse get more playing time at small forward with Warrick's departure. Stackhouse has been a surprise in his play since signing with the Bucks in January. Many players credit his presence with the recent success of the team.

Salmons has a $5.8 million player option for next season. One would think he will exercise his option, given the fact that Michael Redd will still be recovering from knee surgery. If he can raise his play back to the level of last season, he would be able to keep the starting job with relative ease.

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In 51 games this season, Salmons is averaging 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Those numbers are all down from his totals last season when he averaged 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists a game.

Salmons now gives Brandon Jennings another weapon at his disposal. Jennings should be able to create more space for Salmons to operate, which will hopefully see his shooting percentages go up. He shot 47 percent from the field last year, but that number has dipped down to 42 percent this season.

The Bucks still have several more players they could decide to trade before Thursday's deadline. They have been talked about as a possible suitor for Pacers' forward, Troy Murphy.

While this move many not be on the level as the Cavs trading for Antwan Jamison, it is a step in the right direction for a Bucks' organization that has floundered for the past several years. A trade to acquire more frontline help would only solidify the Bucks as a legitimate playoff contender.

To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here .


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