See the drummer in this video? Just dominating this performance from beginning to end and making everyone else in his band look pathetic as they scramble to keep up? THAT is what John Hammond is doing to the rest of the NBA right now. Typically in these situations I would say that Hammond is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers blah blah blah. But not even that accurately characterizes his 2+ year run as the Bucks GM. He's playing a different game entirely. Odds are it's probably still a basic card or board game, but I started thinking what if it's not? What if it's something cool I don't even know about yet you know? (are we not in the safety....with the nest?).
In any case if you missed it yesterday John Hammond against all odds moved BOTH Dan Gadzuric's and Charlie Bell's contracts out of town and got a warm blooded authentic basketball player in return. At this point I would have been happy to get Monopoly money back for Danny G. Hell I would have even taken a chance card for him. But somehow, someway Hammond got a 20 point per game scorer in Corey Maggette and a draft pick in return for a lot of dead weight. Now this did not come without some cost. Maggette is on the hook for 31 million dollars over the next 3 years. So we do take on salary, and the plan as far as I knew it since Hammond took over was to ride out all of the bad contracts that Larry Harris signed and go after big name free agents in the summer of 2011. But a funny thing happened on the way to 2011. This team got good. As in nearly winning 50 games and making the second round of the playoffs good. So in a league where so little is guaranteed and being consistently good is rare, the time is now to start building around Jennings and Bogut and stop waiting for 2011.
Not to mention Hammond has somehow gotten rid of nearly every bad contract Larry Harris's ever inked. When Hammond became the GM in 2008 he had more bad paper on the books AIG (boom goes the economically relevant dynamite!). Booby Simmons, Mo Williams, Dan Gadzuric, Charlie Bell, Yi Jianlian, gone gone gone. The only one left is Michael Redd. And the way Hammond is operating right now it wouldn't shock me if he somehow gets the Cavs to do a sign and trade for Lebron. Honestly he is operating like I do when I offer trades in Madden that EVERY team accepts.
So in the span of 2 years Hammond has during a moribound franchise doomed to possibly being relocated to an up and coming team dripping with talent and optimism. I think in my preseaon Bucks blog I wrote something to the effect of "Hammond had a better chance of bringing peace to the Middle East before he brings this team back to repectability." But here we are. At this point I have to ask what CAN'T Hammond pull off. Like could he get me a date with Heidi Klum? Could he explain what the check engine light really means? Can he beat orginal Contra for Nintendo WITHOUT cheat codes? Bonus word: hammond.
PS: Milwaukee rids itself of both Gadzuric AND Suppan in the span of three weeks. How again is this not a statewide holiday?