In search of a big man

The Sports Xchange

There isn't any doubt about the Bucks' main mission during the offseason: acquiring a certifiable center.

When the Bucks dealt Andrew Bogut to the Warriors in March, it left a Grand Canyon size hole in the middle.

Drew Gooden, a natural power forward, moved into the Bucks' starting center position after Bogut's departure and did a commendable job on the offensive end but poor job on the defensive end.

The only other center on their roster is Larry Sanders, who is a nice shot-blocker and rebounded but a below-average offensive player.

There is some scuttlebutt the Bucks may make a run at Hornets center Chris Kaman, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Bucks could also possibly land a center in the draft. Barring some incredible luck with the ping-pong balls in the Draft Lottery, the Bucks will have the 12th overall selection in the June draft.

Among the centers who could be available when the Bucks pick are North Carolina's Tyler Zeller and Illinois' Meyers Leonard.

The underachieving Bucks definitely overachieved on two occasions, both against the Heat. The Bucks upset the Heat 91-82 on Jan. 22 in Miami when Brandon Jennings scored 22 points. They then beat the Heat 105-97 on Feb. 1 in Milwaukee when Jennings scored 31points.

The Bucks were in prime position to get at least the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs when they hosted the Knicks on April 11 at the Bradley Center. The Bucks held a 94-86 lead with 8:53 left in the game but squandered the lead and lost a heartbreaking 111-107 decision. The Bucks proceeded to lose four of their next five games, effectively killing their playoff hopes.

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