I'm Hugh Jass, Milwaukee Bucks fan extraordinaire. One of the few bright spots for the Bucks organization this year has to be the horse-trading prowess of general manager Larry Harris. Back on January 11th, Larry traded guard Steve Blake to the Denver Nuggets for Earl Boykins, Julius Hodge and a modest sized bag of cash. The Bucks have been plagued with injuries this year. At the time of the Boykins trade, both Michael Redd and Mo Williams were showing up to the Bradley Center wearing tailored suits and Italian shoes, so the guard ranks were thinner than the Saturday paper. The Nuggets needed to move Boykins quick for a couple of reasons, the main one being to dodge the long arm of the NBA's luxury tax. The other reason had to do with their recent acquisition of "point guard" Allen Iverson - as far as I know, the Nuggets still have only one ball to play with.
Although Steve Blake has played very well in a Denver uniform, (even George Karl has warmed up to him) Earl Boykins is the best NBA'er in this trade. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 2nd, 1976, at just under 5'5" Boykins is the second shortest player in NBA history behind Muggsy Bogues. In comparison to some of the monsters that visit the Bradley Center he resembles a satellite rotating around a medium sized planet. But don't be fooled by his size. This guys gets around pesky obstacles quicker than Dick Cheney. Plus he has a much better shot and he's more fun to watch. If not for Boykins, the Bucks recent six-week long tailspin would have been much, much worse. Since coming over from the Nugs he's averaged over 15 points and 4 1/2 assists in 35+ minutes.
The general thinking is that the Bucks are just renting Boykins until the end of the year. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and is widely expected to test the market. And who can blame him. The Bucks are his 6th team since he entered the league undrafted in 1999. His game has solidified in recent years and he's going to get a multi-year deal from somebody - it's just probably not going to be the Bucks. I would love to see him stay, but it might just not be in the cards. At least for the rest of this season, this Bucks fan is going to enjoy sitting in the best seats I can find at the Bradley Center and watching Earl the Squirrel do his thing.