One day after the Milwaukee Bucks acquired their starting shooting guard for the next three years, general manager John Hammond decided to bolster the depth at the center position. Milwaukee signed Zaza Pachulia to a three-year, $16 million deal that brings the nine-year veteran back to the organization where he spent his second season in the NBA.
Many are questioning why the Bucks would ink a deal with Pachulia considering there are certainly other positions that need more depth than center. With that being said, Milwaukee is not convinced that Gustavo Ayon is a solid backup. They also would prefer to see Ekpe Udoh suit up at power forward instead of reliving starting center Larry Sanders.
Personally, I believe signing Pachulia is an awesome move by the organization. There is no question the Bucks needed someone to fill in without losing too much with Sanders on the bench. The fact is Pachulia will compliment Sanders brilliantly as he is more of an offensive center, while Sanders is more of a shot blocker and a rebounder. Not to mention, Pachulia has attitude that he can combine with a mean streak. Milwaukee needs someone who is not afraid to get down and dirty, and Pachulia is certainly the man for the job.
Pachulia averaged 5.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game with the Atlanta Hawks last season. He also managed to convert 47.3 percent of his 4.6 field goal attempts per game and 75.7 percent of his attempts from the free throw line. The 29-year-old’s numbers are not exactly jaw dropping, but the fact that he was able to put forth a decent performance while averaging 21.8 minutes per contest is impressive.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Larry Drew, who coached Pachulia for the past few years in Atlanta, will use the nine-year veteran. The good news is both men have plenty of experience together, which means Pachulia should be able to accomplish everything Drew is looking for in a backup center.