The Milwaukee Bucks released Mexican power forward/center Gustavo Ayon back in July, a move that appeared to be smart at the time. However, Ayon recently dominated in the FIBA Americas tournament as he took home MVP honors while leading the team to a championship win. The question has to be asked, did the Bucks make a mistake releasing Ayon before training camp?
The reason Milwaukee cut ties with Ayon is because they simply have way too many big men as it is, which is certainly a great problem to have. The Bucks are going to have a hard time finding playing time for some of them in 2013-14. That means Ayon would have been lost on the depth chart, unless he put forth an incredible effort in the weeks leading up to the season.
That effort has been shown in the FIBA Americas tournament. Ayon posted 20 points and 16 rebounds in the championship game as Mexico defeated Puerto Rico 91-89. This was the first time Mexico has ever won the FIBA Americas championship, a tournament they have not appeared in since 1974.
There is no question the Atlanta Hawks have to be pleased with what they have seen from Ayon. The 28-year-old is expected to back up at power forward and center during the upcoming season. The fact that he has dominated in the tournament means he should be ready to go once the season begins in seven weeks.
As much as the Bucks may regret letting Ayon go, I still believe they will be better off without him. The players they have on the current roster should be able to get the job done.
The Bucks received Ayon in a trade with the Orlando Magic as part of the deal to acquire J.J. Redick. He performed better in Milwaukee than he did with Orlando last season as he averaged 4.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 13.6 minutes per game in 12 contests.