Tag: Brian Skinner

Brian Skinner

Teams cut players at rapid rate as contract deadline approaches

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The list of bench players waived by teams this week continues to grow faster than the mold on the Christmas leftovers still in the back of your refrigerator (you really should throw those out now).

Brian Skinner in Milwaukee, John Lucas III in Chicago, Ronald Dupree in Toronto, Ime Udoka in San Antonio, Damien Wilkins in Atlanta, Rodney Carney in Golden State, Steve Novak in Dallas, all let go… and that’s just in the last few hours. There have been and will be more.

On message boards across the land fans keep asking, “Is this clearing a roster spot to make way for a big trade?” No.

It is teams saving money — by next Monday, if you have a non-guaranteed contract and are still on a roster your contract becomes guaranteed for the rest of the season. So teams are waiving seldom-used guys whose deals are not already secure to save a few bucks (and create roster space).

A lot of these guys will go to the D-League or be picked up on 10-day contracts with teams. There will be a lot more purging over the coming days.

Bucks waive Darington Hobson, likely to sign Brian Skinner

Brian Skinner
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When the Milwaukee Bucks cut Brian Skinner from their roster a little over a month ago, they were a different team. A healthier team. A team looking at a number of potential contributors at both power forward and center, led by Andrew Bogut but boasting a number of capable bigs to put behind and alongside him. Milwaukee spent the summer bolstering their depth, and Skinner was deemed to be a bit redundant.

Now a player like Skinner, or anyone capable of logging decent minutes at center for that matter, seems like a nice insurance policy to have. Milwaukee is aching for some insurance in the middle. Bogut continues to miss games with a tweaked back, and though Drew Gooden recently returned from a two-game absence, he’s battling the lingeringest of lingering injuries: plantar fasciitis. Both Bogut and Gooden are likely to nurse those same wounds all year long, making the addition of another big almost a necessity.

That’s bad news for second round pick Darington Hobson. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Bucks have waived Hobson (who was already projected to miss the entire season due to an unfortunate hip surgery) in order to clear out a roster spot. The move should come at minimal cost to the Bucks, as Hobson’s contract for the year wasn’t fully guaranteed. Kennedy’s source indicates that the resulting roster opening will likely be used to sign Skinner, who was one of the final cuts from the Bucks’ training camp.

Milwaukee could probably find a better big man than Skinner if they took a good look around, but he clearly did something to win over Bucks coach Scott Skiles in camp. What can I say? Milwaukee needs bigs to fill in minutes whenever necessary, and they’re going to go with what they know. Skinner, despite his lack of notable size or particular strength to his game, managed to get his foot in the door prior to the season, and now it’s likely to pay off for him. He doesn’t provide much help inside, but at this point the Bucks need bodies. Larry Sanders and Jon Brockman aren’t capable of keeping the Bucks’ defense steady for an entire game, and if nothing else, the addition of Skinner can at least get the other big men a bit more rest. Skinner doesn’t solve anything, but I suppose he doesn’t hurt, either.

Milwaukee Bucks cut Brian Skinner, open door for the Brockness Monster

Jon Brockman

The Milwaukee Bucks released 12-year NBA veteran Brian Skinner in their final round of training camp cuts, and it’s probably for the best. Skinner hasn’t been all that productive for a majority of those 12 years, and when your primary contribution to the league is measured in facial hair, it might be time to hang ’em up.

Skinner’s departure leaves Milwaukee without another cookie cutter center on the roster to back up Andrew Bogut, and that’s a good thing. Drew Gooden will undoubtedly grab most of the minutes behind Bogut (hell, they’re paying the man $32 million over the next five seasons, so he better be playing quite a bit), and depending on your opinion of Drew, that’s either not too bad, slightly problematic, or horribly catastrophic. Larry Sanders figures to be playing some in the middle as well, which should be fun. However, by not dangling a tough, veteran player from in front of Scott Skiles, Jon Brockman, more affectionately known as “the Brockness Monster,” could have a chance at some decent playing time.

Which would just be swell.

Skinner wouldn’t have given the Bucks anything terribly specific. He’s not particularly tall, not a vaunted defender, and nothing close to an offensive threat. He’s just a big guy with some miles on him and a habit of sticking around. Brockman’s a bit more useful, considering that as a rookie last season, he, oh, I don’t know, put together one of the greatest offensive rebounding seasons of any player in the history of the league. Brockman grabbed over 18% of all available offensive misses during his time on the floor for the Kings last season. Dwight Howard grabbed just 12% of his team’s misses, Pau Gasol only 11.4%, and Tim Duncan only 10.8%. All exemplary marks, but Brockman’s is simply…exemplarier.

Brockman’s total rebounding rate is nothing to scoff at, either. Had he qualified for leaderboard status, Brockman would have been the sixth best overall rebounder in the league. The man’s mitts just have a gravity of their own, and those unsuspecting misses have no choice but to fall into his grasp.

Hopefully this season Brockman can endear himself to Skiles and find even more time on the court. The offensive glass isn’t going to clean itself, y’know.

Atlanta is apparently very, very desperate for another center


The Hawks were long linked to Shaquille O’Neal, but despite the Hawk’s need for a big, strong post defender (to tackle the challenges Al Horford is ill-suited for) and some interior scoring (ATL was 21st in the league in field goal attempts at the rim last season), it wasn’t meant to be. O’Neal is now a Celtic, and he’ll have tons of fun tangoing for minutes next season with Jermaine O’Neal and the recovering Kendrick Perkins.

To the Hawks’ credit, they drew the line for Al Horford’s benefit (link via Hoopinion). Shaq doesn’t deserve to start over Horford even if the Hawks lack an interior presence to deal with the the league’s giants, and going with Al over Shaq was the right move.

So instead of O’Neal, the Hawks will look to Plan B. Or, judging by the talent of their targets, Plan Q, at the very least. According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks are looking at signing Francisco Elson, Josh Boone, or Brian Skinner to fill in minutes at the middle. These are harsh times, and teams looking for bigs are finding the remaining pool of useful free agents rather meager.

O’Neal may only vaguely resemble the player he once was, but he’s still much, much better than any of the Hawks’ remaining options. Shaq is still a reasonably effective low-post threat even at his advanced age, and while concerns over his pick-and-roll D are both well-known and very valid, he does have some defensive application.

Boone? A wiry non-rebounder that exists in never-ending state of biting on pump fakes. Elson? Stuck without particularly usable size or mobility (He’s 7’0”, but would you know it?), and lacking in the offensive utility that could secure him a roster spot. Skinner? Fantastic beard, and perhaps the best player of the three. Still, all Atlanta has at center right now is Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, and Jason Collins. Skinner may not be an awful option for a third center, but if the Hawks signed Collins, they would have two low-quality Cs in reserve, without adding any quality bigs.

Right now, Atlanta can’t win. They’re set to be a tad soft inside once again despite Al Horford’s best efforts (and Zaza doing what Zaza does), and the only heroes on the horizon are highlighted by their generally ineffective largeness or quirks in their coiffure/facial hair stylings. Well done as always, Hawks. They may  end up getting bigger, but they’re still not getting any better.