The Milwaukee Bucks‘ trade deadline deal sending Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien was initially more about decreasing salary rather than bringing back talent. A funny thing has happened since; forward Adrien is making an impact. Adrien, initially a throw-in afterthought, could find himself providing depth on the bench based on his play with the Bucks.
The Bucks are set up front with Larry Sanders, John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova plus a potential lottery pick, but that’s okay with Adrien. He would be more than happy to come off the bench and provide toughness in the paint as well as on the glass. Since joining the Bucks Adrien is averaging 9.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, both career highs. Granted, the Bucks are in the midst of a tanking scenario and there is a lot of garbage time, but Adrien is also playing quality minutes and keeping the team competitive. In addition to stats, Adrien possesses an aggressiveness I’m sure the coaching staff would like to see rub off on the young players. Confidence and assertiveness is often taught best by example.
There is a good chance what we are seeing from Adrien is his ceiling for production as a player, but that would be okay. The Bucks need hard-hat, lunch-pail guys to come off the bench or provide energy when the youth movement is lacking motivation. Adrien can fill this role as well as spot start should the team get hit with injuries. Remember, this is the Bucks; they are going to get hit with injuries.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant