AT LAST, A TRADE BEFORE THE DEADLINE!

And I’m absolutely over the moon about it.

After about 10 weeks of no movement whatsoever, after all the crappy rumors and bogus “reporting”, Milwaukee and Golden State got their swap on less than 24 hours before the deadline. Hey, it’s hardly a secret that the Warriors have been desperate to get a legitimate center after striking out on Tyson Chandler and D’ Andre Jordan in the summer. Now, for better or for worse, they got one. Here is the deal:

Golden State gets: Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.

Milwaukee gets: Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown.

What this means for Golden State

That this new ownership has no clue what they’re doing.

Listen, it’s no secret around here that I have a weird fetish for Monta Ellis, but goddamn did they get 60 cents on the dollar for their franchise player. Sure, they’ve been dying for a center and yeah, Klay Thompson looks like a future star and a great replacement for Ellis. Still, does any of that mean you should give away a guy with that kind of talent for brittle center and an over-the-hill headcase who is almost sure to start crying about his contract extension as soon as he gets off the plane.

I mean, yikes.

Still, it gets worse.

Golden state also surrender the 6th pick of last years draft in Ekpe Udoh, a sturdy big man who was actually starting to show flashes with increased playing time. Oh, and they gave away Kwame brown’s gigantic expiring contract, which probably could have fetched them a decent player on it’s own.

It’s been said that the new ownership is willing to gamble and take risks, but this is something else. Try though I might, I can’t defend this move at all.

What this means for Milwaukee 

They found a sucker.

Listen, the Bucks are worse off than most every NBA franchise these days. Not only are they stuck in the teeniest of markets with little exposure, but they have a team that has been ravaged by injuries to it’s stars and can’t be any better than mediocre as currently constructed. In this sport, that’s the last place you want to be.

When the day started, the Bucks were 18-24 and being led by a young point guard (Brandon Jennings) who is already talking about leaving as soon as his contract is up and an injury prone center who is still on the books for 33 million over the next 2 1/2 years despite missing 40% of their games in the last four seasons.

In other words, they were screwed.

And yeah, they may still be, but this trade should give them at least a little hope. Now, they have a dynamic, high-scoring guard to put next to Jennings, a couple of able-bodied big men, and they are out from under Bogut’s contract AND the cancerous presence of Stephen Jackson, who has always been a major headache but longer plays well enough to be worth the hassle.

Suddenly, things are looking up. Considering the improvement of Ersan Illyasova and their recent three game winning streak, they might be onto to something. Well, they certainly have a shot at the #8 seed in the east and next year they’ll have the cap space to add something to this mix.

If you are a Milwaukee fan, this has to be considered a home run under the circumstances.

THE VERDICT

Man, did the Warriors fucking blow it here or what? Not to dogpile on them or whatever, but this has not been the best year to be a fan of the GSW’s.

As if dealing with the disastrous hiring of Mark Jackson as head coach and the continued under-achieving wasn’t enough, they’ve had to endure the ongoing saga of Stephen Curry’s putty-like ankles and now they’ve lost their most exciting player for a guy who can’t stay off crutches.

Even if Bogut manages to become an iron man for the next two years, where exactly are you going with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Dorrell Wright, David Lee and Andrew Bogut?

In the Western conference, “nowhere special” would be the correct answer.

-John Hathwell

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