Well, Milwaukee didn’t not make a trade at the deadline on Thursday. And say this, too, about the Bucks after their lackluster deal to send Roy Hibbert to Denver: at least they’re not the Chicago Bulls.
According to multiple reports – first by The Vertical – the Bucks traded veteran center Roy Hibbert to the Nuggets for a heavily protected second-round draft pick. Hibbert, who was acquired Feb. 2 with Spencer Hawes from Charlotte in exchange for Miles Plumlee, never appeared in a game for Milwaukee.
On both sides, this appears to be purely a financial move. For the Bucks, it’s a salary dump – they save about $1.4 million on Hibbert’s one-year, $5 million expiring contract – and it helps Denver get closer to the salary floor. Milwaukee probably will never see the pick, which is believed to be top-55 protected for the 2019 draft. The Bucks now have an open roster spot.
Earlier in the month, when Milwaukee dealt Plumlee, who’d signed a large contract in the offseason but was barely playing, it was a lemonade-from-lemons trade that added two more big men to the Bucks’ crowded frontcourt. Like Hibbert, Hawes has not stepped foot on the court yet for Milwaukee, which has Greg Monroe, John Henson, Thon Maker, Mirza Teletovic and Michael Beasley up front. Two of those players, Monroe and Henson, were considered potential trade pieces, though neither seemed to attract much interest from the rest of the league.
A 30-year-old pending free agent with nagging minor injuries, Hibbert was never really going to play much for the Bucks. He averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16 minutes per game for the Hornets, but the 2012 and 2014 All-Star is an outmoded, ill-fitting big man in today’s game. Still, a defensive presence with great size, Hibbert gives Denver some depth and perhaps bolsters its frontcourt, as the Nuggets make a playoff push in the Western Conference.
As for the Bucks, they could use their open roster spot to sign a veteran free agent released by another team, try a player out on a 10-day contract or give a D-League prospect a look.
It was a relatively quiet trade deadline across the NBA, with even the rumors sounding tepid. But the Bulls, who already had one of the league’s most nonsensical rosters, made another seemingly incoherent move Thursday, sending Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second-round pick to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. Though Chicago’s front office wouldn’t admit it, the move appears to signal the organization is planning to rebuild. Someone should probably tell Dwyane Wade.
Anyway, the Bucks didn’t make a major deal – they also didn’t really have the assets to do so – but, especially compared to the Bulls, they seem at least to have an idea of what they’re doing. RIP, Roy Hibbert Milwaukee Era; verticality, we hardly knew thee.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.