Vasquez embracing fresh start with Bucks
Jul. 02, 2015
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) — Greivis Vasquez always thought he might end up in Milwaukee. It just took a little longer than he anticipated.
Coming out of the University of Maryland, Vasquez worked out twice for the Milwaukee Bucks prior to the 2010 NBA Draft, but the Bucks used their first-round pick on center Larry Sanders while Vasquez eventually landed in Memphis, which took him 28th overall.
Five seasons and four teams later, the 6-foot-5 point guard's nomadic career has a new — and hopefully long term — home. The Bucks acquired the well-traveled Vasquez from Toronto last month for a conditional first-round pick and a second-round pick hoping he can bring some punch off the bench as team continues to rebuild.
"I came here twice for a draft workouts and I went to Toronto twice," Vasquez said Thursday after being formally introduced at the Bucks' practice facility. "So now I came to the two teams that really wanted me."
Milwaukee coveted Vasquez for his ability to distribute and run the offense, but his shooting — especially from long-range — will be the biggest benefit.
The Bucks shot a respectable 36.3 percent from beyond the arc, seventh-best in the league. But their 1,500 attempts were among the fewest in the NBA. Expect that number to tick up with Vasquez in the fold. He is a career 37.9 percent 3-point shooter and made 35.6 percent of his 3-point attempts last season.
"It's something I've worked on the last few years," Vasquez said. "I feel pretty comfortable but now I want to get back and get my 10 assists a game and help and get people better."
Joining a roster that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton and newly signed Greg Monroe is intriguing.
"I've got shooters, I've got big guys . I've got everything I need for a point guard," Vasquez said. "To me, the NBA is all about a fit and honestly, I'm not BS-ing you guys, I think this is a perfect fit for my game with a perfect coach."
That coach, Jason Kidd, was another big selling point. Vasquez said he models his game after Kidd, who was a 12-time All-Star during his 19-year career.
"I have to rebound better but being under him, I think he'll help me overall with my game," Vasquez said. "This guy is a Hall of Famer and he's proven he can coach in this league. He's gone to the playoffs his first two years as a coach. He took Milwaukee from 15 to 44 wins.
"When I see myself, I obviously want to play like him so being with him, playing under him, is going to be very beneficial for my game."
Vasquez will earn $6.6 million his season, the last under a two-year deal signed last summer with Toronto. He said he's open to sticking around Milwaukee for the long run.
"If they're looking at a long-term relationship, I'm willing to do that," he said. "This roster is very attractive to me. Why leave when we can do great things here?"