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News » Milwaukee Bucks Getting Inside 2008-06-30

Milwaukee Bucks Getting Inside 2008-06-30

Milwaukee Bucks Getting Inside 2008-06-30
The Bucks didn't limit themselves to addition by draft picks on June 26. They also reshaped the roster by pulling off an unexpected trade, adding a player who has been on the verge of becoming an all-star for most of his career.

Small forward Richard Jefferson is on his way to Milwaukee, while the Bucks sent forwards Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons to New Jersey.

The deal appears to bring the Bucks a significant upgrade at small forward. The 6-foot-7 Jefferson is coming off the highest-scoring season of his career -- averaging 22.6 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. He also played in all 82 games after missing 27 in 2006-07 with a leg injury. Jefferson went to the NBA Finals during his first two seasons in New Jersey.

"One thing about Richard, he's won," first-year general manager John Hammond said. "He's got a lot of experience and he's played in playoffs. If anything, a guy like Michael Redd, to put a piece like Jefferson on the floor with him, it only makes Michael better.

"I don't think you can ever have too many good players. I know it's another 20-point player. But the more the merrier."

Yi had a somewhat disappointing rookie season, considering all the hype he received after being chosen with the No. 6 pick of last year's draft. He averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds, and there also were questions about whether the native of China would be happy playing in a small market such as Milwaukee.

After signing as a free agent in 2005, Simmons had one decent season with the Bucks, averaging 13.4 points in 2005-06. But then he missed the following season with a variety of injuries in his right foot and didn't seem to move as well after recovering.

Last year, Simmons produced just 7.6 points and was often a defensive liability. The Bucks escaped from the final two seasons of Simmons' contract, which are worth $20.4 million. Jefferson is owed roughly $42 million over the next three years, but at least he's been productive.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Not many expected rookie point guard Ramon Sessions to play much this season, much less set a franchise single-game assist record. But Sessions, an unheralded second-round pick, recorded 24 assists against the Bulls on April 14. Sessions eclipsed a record that had stood since Oct. 31, 1968. That's when Guy Rodgers had 21 assists in the sixth game of the franchise's history. Sessions' 24 assists were also the most recorded in the NBA this season, surpassing Chris Paul's 21.

TURNING POINT: Heading into March, the Bucks were still in the hunt for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bucks had won three of their previous four games and seemed poised for a playoff run. Instead, they lost to the Nets 120-106 and proceeded to lose nine of their next 10 games and 12 of their next 14.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 30, 2008


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