Bucks general manager Jon Horst went through his first summer as the head of basketball operations in Milwaukee this year, taking the reins in mid-June and guiding the team through the rest of the offseason. However, as our Offseason in Review piece on the Bucks detailed, Horst didn’t exactly make any major splashes in his first few months as GM. The team didn’t sign any outside free agents, and its only two trades involving sending or receiving cash in exchange for a draft pick.
As such, Tuesday’s acquisition of Eric Bledsoe represented Horst’s first major move as general manager of the Bucks, as he sent Greg Monroe and a pair of draft picks to Phoenix in exchange for the play-making point guard. After completing the deal, Horst sat down with Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to discuss the move. The Q&A is worth reading in full, but here are a few highlights from the Bucks’ GM:
On why the Bucks made the move for Bledsoe:
“I think this was the right deal because we were able to add someone that’s dynamic, another dynamic player that can score the ball, that can play-make for others, that has defensive toughness, athleticism and strength. And we were able to do that with effectively giving up one of the pieces of our core, as we’ve talked about publicly. Also, the Bucks DNA thing we’ve talked about is real. He is a high-character guy, highly talented, he has positional versatility, he can play on the ball and off the ball and he’s got great toughness.”
On whether Bledsoe’s messy split with the Suns gave the Bucks any pause:
“No, because with everything we do we do our due diligence. In surveying the league and getting that information, to a person everyone thinks very highly of Eric. … I think he was in a tough situation. We had a franchise that was trying to go in one direction, a player that wanted to be competitive in a different direction and those two things pulled at each other and it kind of resulted in what we all saw. That was of very little consideration for us, really all through this.”
On whether Bledsoe is a better fit than Monroe for the modern NBA:
“I think players like Greg Monroe have a role in this NBA without a doubt. So I don’t really buy into that. I do think Eric fits into a style of play that maybe we want to try to be a little bit quicker, up-tempo, more aggressive defensively and offensively and I think he can help us do that. I don’t think Greg is a dying breed or anything like that.”
On how the Bucks will handle their reduced depth at center after moving Monroe:
“The same way that we handled approaching and getting Eric Bledsoe. We’re turning over every stone, we’re going to look at every option. We increased a little bit of financial flexibility this year in the deal, which will allow us to kind of be more active in discussions and addressing things. But John (Henson) has been playing at a really high level, Thon (Maker) was very productive last year and is playing well this year. We don’t mind giving D.J. (Wilson) some minutes. Joel Bolomboy is a guy that we’re intrigued by and we’re going to look for opportunities for him. We’ll consider that, we’ll look for that, but in the short term we’re fine as is. We’re not going to rush into anything.”
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Fun time to be a Bucks fan!