Some Z-Bo Speculation

 

Could Z-Bo find himself banished to Milwaukee in the coming days?

The following excerpt was taken from ESPN.com’s weekend dime:

Although concerns about Zach Randolph‘s off-court baggage — and whether there’s sufficient room in the Bucks’ frontcourt for Randolph and Andrew Bogut — led the Bucks to reject the Knicks’ initial proposal, NBA front-office sources say that the possibility of New York and Milwaukee hooking up on a deal has not been completely extinguished.

The Knicks were apparently willing to take on three players who don’t start (Charlie Villanueva, Bobby Simmons and Dan Gadzuric) and two of whom haven’t lived up to their contracts (Simmons and Gadzuric) just for the right to shed Randolph after Isiah Thomas’ failed experiment of pairing him with Eddy Curry. At least one more Knick would have to be included to make the salary-cap math work in the event there is a revival here; Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler have all been mentioned.

The whole concept certainly strikes us as a worthy gamble for the Bucks, no matter what potential warts or pitfalls are presented by the prospect of acquiring Randolph. Similar concerns about the addition of Ruben Patterson last season proved unfounded and the Bucks’ abundance of perimeter specialists (Michael Redd, Yi Jianlian, Mo Williams) would theoretically mesh well with Randolph’s game. There would still be questions about Randolph and Bogut co-existing, true, but the limited contributions Milwaukee is getting from the three outgoing players and Randolph’s standing as a proven 20/10 guy would seemingly offset any risk factors.

That said …

Resuscitating this deal would require an about-face from Bucks owner Herb Kohl, who is ultra-conservative when it comes to team-building, as discussed here last week. He’ll undoubtedly see Randolph as a much bigger gamble than Patterson because of the nearly $50 million over three seasons remaining on Zach’s contract after this season.

Here’s a little Trade Machine breakdown of one possible scenario, with Simmons, Villanueva, and Gadzuric heading to New York for Randolph and Balkman.  Based on the fact that the Bucks would be shedding two bad contracts (Gadzuric and Simmons) and taking on one questionable one, at the cost of Villanueva for Balkman (or whoever is the extra player), I don’t see how they can pass this deal up.  They’d be getting the best player in the trade, as well as shedding some dead weight simply because Isiah has backed himself into a corner in NYC by making silly move after sillier move.

If it doesn’t work, it’s not like the Bucks are giving much up, and they can make another move later if they so choose, so I say make that call and give us another reason to pity Knicks fans.  It’s not like the Bucks would be risking blowing up a great nucleus or anything, seeing as they currently check in at just 4 games ahead of the lowly Big Apple crew.

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