It's clear the Milwaukee Bucks were hesitant to trade center Andrew Bogut last season despite his injury history.

General manager John Hammond and coach Scott Skiles knew the value of a savvy 7-foot center who blocked shots and took charges, when he was healthy enough to be on the floor.

So they had to be sure they were receiving great value in return when they made the trade with Golden State that brought Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee.

Ellis was the dynamic shooting guard the team lacked, someone to take the pressure off point guard Brandon Jennings.

Now it's time to see how the plan will work over an 82-game NBA schedule as the Bucks prepare for the Nov. 2 regular-season opener in Boston.

They open their preseason schedule Tuesday night in Canton, Ohio, against Cleveland.

"He (Ellis) can do a lot of different things out there," Skiles said. "He's got some toughness. Of course he's quick. He can get to the rim. He has a nice pull-up game.

"He passes the ball. He's a good teammate. He's been easy to coach. We really like him a lot."

Ellis said he is feeling more comfortable after having a chance to mesh with his teammates on the practice floor during the first week of training camp. That was a luxury he was not afforded in the hurry-up schedule of the lockout season.

"We've got a great group of guys here," Ellis said. "If we just all play together as one, have the same mind-set. We're not going to put a number on it; we're not going to say we're going to do this or do that. We have to go out and show it, and we're going to have fun doing it."