Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bucks Sign Royal Ivey

Charles Gardner at the JS just broke that the Bucks have signed former Hawks guard Royal Ivey to a one-year deal.

Ivey played in 53 games with the Hawks last season, making 18 starts, and averaged 3.1 points and 1.0 rebounds. He scored 16 points in a late-season game against the Bucks at the Bradley Center.

During the 2005-'06 season, Ivey started 66 times in 73 games played and averaged 3.6 points and 1.3 rebounds. He led all NBA guards in fewest turnovers per 48 minutes (1.1).

"It's a new start for me, a great opportunity," Ivey said.
In other words, the Bucks are probably not going to match the Heat's offer sheet for Charlie Bell. Unlike Dee Brown, the 25-year old Ivey has enough size (6'4" / 215 lbs) to play the 2 in a pinch, though he's more of a 1 and he's not terribly good at that either. Still, Ivey's calling card is his willingness to play defense, something the Bucks would be losing if (read: when) Bell ends up in Miami. So given the defensive limitations of Mo Williams and Lynn Greer, you can see why Ivey might be viewed as a better fit than a player like Dee Brown (who foreshadowed the Bucks' signing in his blog).

While Ivey's not much of an offensive player, he at least seems to know his limitations, as evidenced by his microscopic turnover rates. All of which was enough to earn him the title of "destitute man's Lindsey Hunter," courtesy of John Hollinger. Which might be a compliment to someone in a rec league, but not so much for someone playing in the NBA. I haven't seen enough of Ramon Sessions to speculate whether he has a chance at getting any burn for the Bucks in 07/08, so at this point I'd guess Lynn Greer and Ivey battle it out for backup minutes at the 1.

UPDATE: The full story in the JS has a quote from Larry Harris claiming the signing is unrelated to the Charlie Bell situation, but that seems hard to believe. Even though Bell has played more SG than PG the last two years, the fact that they signed a big, defensive-oriented PG a day after Bell got his offer sheet sure seems a related move, especially given the Bucks wanted Bell to work on his PG skills this summer. While some have pointed out that Ivey's or Sessions' deals could be completely non-guaranteed, my gut is that with everything that's happened this is a signal of the Bucks' intention not to re-sign Bell. Or maybe they're just toying with Charlie's emotions.
"There's no direct correlation at all," Bucks general manager Larry Harris said of Ivey's signing. "We already had planned to do this, regardless of the Charlie Bell situation."

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