Pick, Blog and Roll

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"Hey Cletus, is you sure 'bout this Villa-nu-eva kid?"

Most of the press outside Toronto has voted decidedly against Toronto in ratings of the Villanueva-for-Ford deal.

ESPN's John Hollinger called it one of the most one-sided trades in recent memory. The Milkwaukee press gleefully praised the shrewdness of GM Larris Harris for "fleecing" the Raptors. Villanueva's agent expressed shock at at the trade. He's quoted as having exclaimed "that's all they got for Charlie" while yukking it up with his client, and comparing notes about where this deal lands in the list of all time worst trades.

(As if this could come remotely close to losing Vince Carter and buying out Zo for $10mm -- please).

Response in Toronto has been more positive. Dave Feschuk, the Star's resident hoops cynic, had good things to say, as did Doug Smith. In the blogosphere, Scott Carefoot seems content over at Raptor Blog. The folks over at RaptorsHQ were upset that their dream front-court of Bosh, Villanueva, and Olowanaki was not to be. (no comment)

Fans are divided into two camps: those who note that Villanueva once scored 48 points in a game (Group "A"), and those who note that he doesn't play a lick of defense, and costs his team as many (or more) points as he scores (Group "B"). Needless to say, the "A" folks are righteously pissed (being drunk, after all), and the "B" folks are looking forward to seeing the lightning-quick Ford in Raptors red next season.

So where am I going with all this? The 2006-7 season is still months away. Villanueva has yet to play a minute as a Buck. And the second-guessing in the land of Ol' Mil has already started:

    The word is Raptors GM Bryon Colangelo is ecstatic over acquiring T.J. Ford from the Bucks, and his jubilation is certainly understandable. Colangelo wants the Raptors to play a wide-open brand of basketball, similar to what his old team, the Phoenix Suns, is doing. Ford is not only the fastest player in the game, he is unquestionably one of the most talented young players at his position.

    Ford showed what he's capable of doing In his last 13 games with the Bucks. That's when Ford had seven games of 16 or more points, including 34 against the Magic and 26 against the Wizards. In that same span, Ford had six games of eight or more assists, including 15 in a playoff game against the Pistons. And he's just 23 years old. Unloading Ford may go down as one of the biggest blunders in Bucks' history.
No Cletus, Villanueva doesn't score 48 a game. And yes, I quite like TJ Ford too.

Frankly, all talk of "fleecing" and "one-sidedness" ventures into the realm of hyperbole. Both teams filled a need with this trade, and the Bucks do have talent at the PG position, so Ford was expendable. I know there will be nights that I look at the statsheet and will second-guess the wisdom of trading a guy who's capable of racking up 20 & 10 when he sets his heart to it. But I'm in favor of this deal. Defense is still important in the new NBA. And so is having a quick point who likes to share the rock.


  • Great analysis. I agree.

    Charlie V came into this league with something to prove, after such an embarassing bashing at the draft. He proved that he's good at scoring and slienced his critics.. But I have to wonder if he'll continue to have that chip on his shoulder, fire in his belly, in sleepy Milwakee. Methinks no.

    Nice kid, but no fire.

    I just hope to god that TJ is not overly injury prone.

    By Blogger dombort, at 1:44 PM  

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