Beno Udrih Would Welcome A Trade From Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks acquired veteran point guard Beno Udrih from Sacramento last June as part of a three team deal with the goal of bolstering their backcourt depth and playing him alongside starter Brandon Jennings.
Well, at least that was Udrih’s initial impression of what his role would be in Milwaukee, but up until this point in the season head coach Scott Skiles hasn’t utilized the combination much on the floor.
The eight year veteran is averaging his lowest minutes per game since the 2007 campaign and it has left him a bit confused and frustrated with his role on the Bucks.
“I understood my role when I was in San Antonio being a backup point guard and just trying to prove myself,” Udrih told HOOPSWORLD. “I got a chance to prove myself [in Sacramento] and proved that I can play in this league by being a solid starting point guard. This year, I came here I thought I was going to play a little more with Brandon Jennings as a combo guard, but that hasn’t happened a lot yet.”
The adjustment period while learning the new offensive and defensive sets has been tough for Udrih and it has been compounded by the fact his minutes have fluctuated throughout the early part of the season.
“I was averaging thirty four minutes per game and now I’m playing like sixteen or seventeen minutes per game, so it’s a totally different game I have to go out there and play,” Udrih said referencing going from starter minutes in Sacramento to a reserve role. “Even my stats went down shooting wise because sometimes you come into the game and you only get two shots. That makes your percentage go down. I just have to stay positive and go out there and try to help my team as much as I can to win.”
The NBA trade deadline is set for March 15 and Udrih has generated interest from numerous teams around the league who are looking to acquire proven leadership at the point guard position should the Bucks choose to shop him aggressively.
In 234 career games as a starter Udrih has averages of 13.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds.
He is owed $6.9 million this season and has a player option worth $7.4 million in 2013.
Udrih confirms he’s heard the buzz about some of the potential suitors for his services and takes it as a measure of respect for his game.
“It is always good to hear that teams are interested,” Udrih told HOOPSWORLD. “But until [a trade] happens, I’m here. I’m a Milwaukee Buck player. I’m going to give it 100 percent every game while I’m here. Nothing can change that. So I’m going to go out there and play hard until something happens, if it happens.”
The 29 year old guard would also welcome a change of scenery if the trade winds came calling over the next two weeks.
“Most players in the NBA are basically only numbers so anybody is tradable if they feel they can get something,” Udrih said. “I’m a guy who looks at [change] like a good thing. I never take it as hard feelings. I try to make the best of every situation that comes along.”
Udrih won two titles as a reserve with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007, but hasn’t been back to the postseason since leaving San Antonio. It’s clear he wants to get back to competing on the postseason stage.
“I’m really hungry,” Udrih said of his desire to get back to the playoffs. “There’s a lot of difference playing regular season games compared to playoff games. Team effort really comes out. So it’s a totally different thing. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, but I got a taste of it my first three years and it was great so hopefully I can help a team get back to the postseason.”
In the meantime he hasn’t given up on the Bucks’ chance at making a late season playoff run.
As it stands currently, Milwaukee is ninth in the Eastern Conference and just 3.5 games out of the last playoff spot behind New York and Boston.
“I think we have a chance,” Udrih said. “We just have to keep playing hard and get more road wins. We have stretches where we play really good for five or six minutes and then we play really bad. There’s nothing in-between. It’s really good or really bad. We just have to pick it up. Thirty two games left, which is not a lot of time. The season is wrapping up really quick so the time is running out. We have to start today and see what happens.”