Both the Bucks and the Celtics are racing to the lottery. The Bucks are 5th in the Central Division with a record of 9-41 while the Celtics are 4th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 18-34. It’s going to hard for any team in the NBA to out-tank the Bucks, but even they know that it is not about losing enough games to grab a potential stud in 2014- you need a solid team to plug that draft pick into so that when the tide eventually turns, it keeps rolling your way. This move between the Bucks and the Celtics does just that.
More often than not, when I have spun the wheel in the ESPN Draft Lottery, the result has looked a lot like this:
Described as an Olajuwon type, Joel Embiid is looking more and more like the prize in the 2014 draft. As of today, February 10th, the Bucks have a 25% chance of “winning” the lottery, making Embiid a huge target for Milwaukee. By sending Jeff Green and Avery Bradley to Milwaukee, the system of packing experience around youth is in full effect.
Avery Bradley is instant upgrade over their current starting shooting guard, Nate Wolters. OJ Mayo has missed the last six games for the Bucks with a mysterious illness aka most likely on the block himself. Bradley is a premiere defensive backcourt combo guard that could play with and improve the production from both Brandon Knight and rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo.
This trade would ensure the Bucks would have enough cap space to keep Bradley and sure up their backcourt for the foreseeable future.
Sending Jeff Green to the Bucks also helps them long term as he is an instant upgrade over Khris Middleton and Caron Butler. Butler’s $8M comes off of Milwaukee’s books at the end of this season. For nearly the same amount of money, Green provides stability, scoring ability, and the propensity to go off on a scoring tear. At $9M and the ability to help bring along a young dynamic core of potential scoring machines, Jeff Green fits in Milwaukee. He also won’t have to shoulder the burden of not being Paul Pierce.
In exchange, Boston gets Larry Sanders, who starting in the 2014-15 season will be making $11M a year. Sanders gives the Celtics exactly what they need- a center to pair with Jared Sullinger. Sanders seems to be the Rondo of the Bucks in that they seemingly have no intention of moving him, but this is the NBA... no one totally untouchable.
Also projected in the draft lottery more often than not is the Celtics drafting Jabari Parker, who now slides into Boston at the small forward position giving the Celtics a young core that can score with a premiere facilitator running the point in Rajon Rondo.
While the draft is always gamble, this trade still works for both sides even if Embiid and Parker land elsewhere. Both sides are set up for long term growth. Sanders paired with Sullinger and Rondo re-establish Boston as a defensive powerhouse in the east while Milwaukee gets Green and Bradley to round out and guide a fast and potent offense that is poised to make an impact in the Central Division. Both teams will be getting top 10 picks this off-season which in this deal is the icing on the cake.
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Source: Gary Dineen/Getty ImagesPadraic O'Connor 2/10/2014 01:59:00 PM Tweet Edit