By Drew Olson Special to Published Jun 23, 2010 at 10:42 AM Photography: Allen Fredrickson

Charlie Bell is one of my favorite local athletes.

He was, anyway, until yesterday when the Bucks packaged him with Dan Gadzuric and traded the duo to Golden State for Corey Maggette and the 44th pick in the upcoming draft.

Bell is a personable guy. He's a native of Flint, Mich., and played in college at Michigan State, so he has Midwestern roots. Undrafted out of college, he went to Europe to get a chance to make it in the NBA. He's a solid family guy. He spent much of the offseason in town, which is rare for pro athletes in these parts. He embraces social media. And, he was terrific last season when partnered with the Bucks for the "Hey Charlie, Do My Job!" webisode series (see below).

Though I'll definitely miss Charlie, the Bucks probably made a good move by trading him. Neither Bell nor Gadzuric figured in the Bucks' plans for 2010-'11. Their primary value was their contracts. The Warriors, who are for sale, wanted to clear some money off their payroll. They had a yard sale, put Maggette in the driveway and the Bucks bought.

Maggette is due to make nearly $31 million over the next three seasons. Bell and Gadzuric are to make about $15 million combined over the next two seasons (Gadzuric's deal has only one year remaining).

The Bucks need scoring. Maggette, 30, provides that, but little else. The gamble here, from the Bucks' perspective, is whether Maggette can flourish in Scott Skiles' offense, which focuses on ball movement and post touches. He's probably going to struggle on defense, so he'll have to offset that by getting 20 points and going to the foul line.

With Michael Redd's max contract still on the books for another year, the Bucks were looking forward to financial flexibility. Maggette's deal could end up being an anchor in that regard.

So far, Skiles has done an admirable job with the chemistry of this team. And, general manager John Hammond might be in line for executive of the decade for moving Gadzuric, who has underachieved his contract since he signed it.

The Maggette move smacks of a bit of desperation and almost certainly means John Salmons is history at this address. The off-season is just starting to unfold, so it will be very interesting to see what Hammond and Skiles cook up with the draft, free agency and further trades.

The Bucks were a pleasant surprise last season. This year, with people expecting bigger things, they might be pressed to avoid taking a slight step back.

The next few weeks will be an interesting window into Hammond's blueprint for this franchise.


Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.