As we await the end of the Bucks' season with far less enthusiasm than the beginning of spring, this much is for certain: Whatever the Bucks do in the next three games against the Miami Heat is far less important than what they do in the next three months or three years. I know, we're all tired of hearing that. It pains me to type those words year after uninspiring year. But it doesn't change the fact the franchise that spins its wheels with the best of the racing drifters has got to do something to make itself relevant again in this community. Much as the Brewers required it a decade ago before their injection of fresh ideas and capital that came with new ownership, the Bucks need to make a ground-shaking statement and then sustain the momentum. A new coach won't make that splash, although it is clear that the next guy needs to have a different set of player relationship skills from Scott Skiles, who walked away from the mess more than two months ago. A weak draft isn't going to do it, especially from non-lottery position. Free agency is not going to do it. The Bucks have money to spend on players who might not place our city at the top of their wish list, but the problem is they have too many free agents of their own. The only two guys who can put a dent in the Heat's average winning margin for this playoff series are not locked up for next season. Monta Ellis has an $11 million player option that he might be persuaded to not exercise with the promise of a long-term deal. Brandon Jennings is in the final year of his rookie contract. Matching an offer shouldn't be a problem if you believe that backcourt is sustainable. But then what? Another year of Ellis-Jennings at the expense of little else other than Ersan Ilyasova, who looks like he's playing hurt against the Heat, isn't going to put any more people in the stands or excitement on the streets unless the franchise can show real evidence that it is sustainable.
Bucks need to act locally, think globally
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 23