Milwaukee Bucks (2008/09 Record: 34-48)
Key Additions: Brandon Jennings (Rookie), Carlos Delfino, Hakim Warrick
Key Losses: Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villenueva, Ramon Sessions
The 2008/2009 Bucks were hampered by the loss of two of their starters, Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, to injuries for most of last season. In 2009/10 it appears that both Redd and Bogut are healthy, however, Milwaukee has seen last season’s other three starters, Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villenueva, and Ramon Sessions leave the Bucks either through free agency (Villeneuva and Sessions) or trade (Jefferson) – a definite shakeup to the Buck’s starting lineup.
Honestly, I’m not sure what the Bucks are up to. In the Jefferson trade the Bucks gave up a 20 points per game scorer who can rebound and defend and didn’t get a single rotation player in the exchange. Additionally, the team did not shop Villenueva last season despite having no intention of bringing the multi-skilled power forward back, which was evidenced by the fact that the team didn’t even extend the minimal qualifying offer to him when he became a restricted free agent this summer opening the door to some either financially agreeable contract or a sign-and-trade! Puzzling.
The one positive light for Bucks fans is that Brandon Jennings should prove a definite upgrade over last season’s starter Ramon Sessions. Jennings is a 19-year-old rookie that took the unprecedented step of forgoing a college career to play one year in Europe. Jennings, one of the most highly sought high school athletes in the country, made some money in the process but may have fallen under the radar a little bit and slipped to the tenth pick in this year’s draft. That may have been an error on his part, but Milwaukee should reap the reward.
The return of All Star shooting guard Michael Redd is another positive development for the franchise – the question is, how many games will Redd actually suit up for? Redd has missed 88 games over the last three seasons due to one injury or another, tearing his ACL and MCL in his left knee last season.
Healthy or not, the Bucks are going to struggle mightily this season. Even with Michael Redd’s 20.5 career scoring average the Bucks do not possess strong scorers, or defenders for that matter, at any of the other position.
Predicted 2009/10 Season Record: 25-57