“Royal has shown that he can play both the point and off-guard positions,” said Harris. “He has good size and athleticism, and brings a defensive mentality to our roster.”With the comments about guard versatility, Harris seems to hint that Ivey will assume the role of the possibly departing Charlie Bell.
However, as Just Another Bucks Fan notes, a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article reveals a quote from Harris that flies in the face of that implication.
"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. "While it’s reasonable to believe the Bucks were interested in bolstering their backcourt depth regardless of Bell’s situation, Bell’s signing with the Heat yesterday and the addition of Ivey today hardly looks coincidental. Harris might not refute that anyway, because if you read his words closely, you’ll find that he doesn’t say there isn’t a correlation, rather that there isn’t a direct correlation.
The Bucks don’t likely have any interest in matching the Heat’s offer. That doesn’t mean they are going to publically admit that for the next six days or so, probably preferring to methodically weigh their options and let Bell fret over the mere possibility.
Regardless, it’s probably time to concentrate on players that are actually going to play for the Bucks, like Ivey. Here are a few things to consider about the newest Buck:
- Ivey has mostly played point guard in the NBA. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, he becomes the team’s biggest point guard. He’s taller and weighs more than Mo Williams, Lynn Greer, and Ramon Sessions. More importantly, his size doesn't come at the expense of speed, and he's regarded as a solid defensive player.
- Not a dynamic offensive player even in college, Ivey averaged 9.4 points as a senior on Texas. Naturally, he hasn’t been a big scorer in the NBA, averaging just 3.4 points in three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. However, in his second pro season he did go far toward earning the treasured point guard label of expert decision-maker, with a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2005-06. At the same time he became a viable outside threat, shooting .400 on three-pointers. Unfortunately, last year saw his assist-to-turnover ratio dip to a very mediocre 1.5, a numbered bettered by Williams and Greer. His three-point percentage also fell to .313.
- The Bradley Center might be a happy home for Ivey, considering he scored a season-high 16 points in 42 minutes in the Bucks' backyard last year. His 9.0 point average against the Bucks was also his highest against any opponent on the season. Granted, the small sample-size and bloated minutes are probably the determining factors for the increased numbers.