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January 18, 2010, 04:08 PM ET
Bucks Think Short-Term with Stackhouse

by Kevin Pelton

Last Wednesday in Portland, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel beat writer Tom Enlund asked Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles if the team was going to add someone to the roster following Michael Redd’s season-ending ACL injury. “We’re working on it,” Skiles said with a tone that indicated the chances were better than that. Indeed, less than a week later, the Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the Bucks will sign veteran free agent Jerry Stackhouse for the rest of the season.

Because he was unsigned last summer and did not play at least 250 minutes in 2008-09, Stackhouse did not even get a projection in Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-10. I just ran his numbers through SCHOENE, which suggests a 50-50 chance Stackhouse beats replacement level with more downside potential than chance of upside. (None of Stackhouse’s top 50 comps–led by Byron Scott, Steve Smith, Johnny Newman and Ron Anderson–bounced back enough to project Stackhouse as an above-average player.)

During his time as a sixth man in Dallas, Stackhouse managed to remain valuable largely because of his ability to get to the free throw line. That dried up the last three seasons, and when his three-point percentage also slipped, Stackhouse was largely a liability in 2007-08 before playing in just 10 games last year due to a foot injury. He may be healthy now, but it’s tough to see him being capable of contributing at a high level.

There’s a much better chance Stackhouse contributes more than rookie Jodie Meeks (who has struggled to a .350 winning percentage so far, but showed flashes against the Blazers) the rest of the way, but that comes at the cost of getting Meeks valuable experience and learning whether he has the potential to be a big contributor for the Bucks down the road. The fact that Milwaukee is still in the playoff race–ninth in the East, two games out of the last spot–makes it somewhat more understandable, but ultimately this is one of those signings I hate for non-contenders.

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