The First Domino Falls: Bucks Trade Jefferson to Spurs


Bucks Jazz Basketball

By: David Kay

UPDATE: 6/23 6:10 PM

In what will certainly be the first of numerous trades in the next couple days, the Spurs have reportedly acquired small forward Richard Jefferson from the Bucks in exchange for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto (though it is rumored Bowen and Oberto will be released.)  This is the second time in as many years Jefferson has been traded just before the draft.  Last year on draft day, the Nets dealt Jefferson to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.

Why this makes sense for Milwaukee:
Jefferson is still owed $29-plus million over the next two years.  It has been reported the Bucks financial situation is tight like a few other teams around the league so dumping Jefferson’s bloated deal for three players who are all in the final year of their contracts will save Milwaukee about $3 million this year and give them some cap flexibility for the much anticipated 2010 off-season.  It will also allow them to attempt to re-sign restricted free agents Ramon Sessions or Charlie Villanueva without massively going over the luxury tax this season or next.  Thomas gives the Bucks some much needed toughness and depth inside.

Why this makes sense for San Antonio:
The Spurs dynasty is on its’ last legs and making a major splash like this gives them a little more life and one more chance at winning a ring.  Adding Jefferson to the core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli means San Antonio will have one of the most talented and most experienced crunch time line-ups in the league.  My biggest concern from the Spurs standpoint is how this weakens their already thin line-up down low.  Besides Duncan, Matt Bonner and Ian Mahinmi are the only other post players under contract for next season.  I would expect another move to be made where the Spurs look to add depth up-front, and almost certainly their mid-level exception will be thrown at a veteran like Rasheed Wallace.

How this affects the Draft:
For the Spurs, it doesn’t change much since they don’t own a first round pick.  They will likely use two, if not all three of their second round picks to add some size or maybe try to package them to move up into the first round.

This trade almost certainly means the Bucks take a point guard with the tenth pick in the NBA Draft.  There is a high interest in Arizona’s Jordan Hill, but it is very unlikely that he drops to the tenth pick.  Jonny Flynn or Jrue Holiday should be the target of Milwaukee’s on draft day.  The door is now also open for drafting a wing player since Jefferson is gone.  But don’t forget Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah a moute, last year’s draft picks, can help fill the void at the three.

UPDATE: According to JS-Online, the Bucks will not release Oberto and instead trade him to the Pistons for Amir Johnson.  Johnson is a 22-year old power forward who is entering the final year of his contract.

Click here for an updated Bucks and Spurs depth chart.

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  1. Paul Schmidt says

    Interesting stuff Dave — I like Flynn at the 10.

  2. Shaymus McLaughlin says

    Everyone has to stay healthy too if the Spurs want this to work. If Duncan and Ginobli can’t play at near 100%, then Jefferson isn’t going to carry them.

    I like the move a lot though for the Spurs.

    @Paul Schmidt Do you think Flynn will still be there at #10? There’s lots of talk that he will go before that…

  3. Melissa W. says

    I feel like my main source of breaking NBA news can be David Kay and Paul M. Banks at The Sports That’s my marketing plug of the day!!!

  4. David K. says

    Flynn could go as high as 4 to Sacramento… If Rubio falls to 4 to Sacramento, Flynn could be there at ten… check out my latest mock draft and you’ll see how The Bucks could land him at ten…

  5. Paul Schmidt says

    Shaymus, Dave — I should have been a little more specific — I like GETTING Flynn at 10. Alot. I hope for their sake that he’s there.

  6. David K. says

    For the record, had the Oberto/Johnson trade up before did… we run this…

  7. Peter Christian says

    I think this opens the door for the Spurs to trade Manu for less than face value, maybe getting a couple role players and a late 1st round pick… I think the Blunder are a good fit… maybe Manu for Nenad Krstic, Thabo Sefolosha and the #25 pick???? The Spurs could even throw in their #53 pick. Yes, I’ve had this plan all along. Are you picking up on this down their in San Antonio, Texas?

  8. paulmbanks says

    Holla! we had this up before the boo-yah network did! hell yeah we run this shit. I think Fylnn will go #10 as well. when i first read schmidt’s comment, I was like “at the ten?” there’s only five positions on the floor.

  9. Paul Schmidt says

    Yes, we must refer to everything as “The”. New rule.

  10. paulmbanks says

    best band name ever- The The

  11. Peter Christian says

    I really like that Shaymus just responded to Schmidt twitter style… @Shaymus McLaughlin

  12. paulmbanks says

    I thought the same thing

  13. Jake Fowler says

    I don’t think trading Manu would be a good idea. He was hurt last year and will come back strong if he’s healthy. Jefferson adds some athleticism and paired with parker and manu make for a very dynamic group especially if manu or jefferson come off the bench and add a spark to the second team. I think the spurs can make another run if they get a center or some young guys to step up.
    What would be the reasoning behind trading Manu?

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