With the NBA trade deadline about a week away, we decided to make some speculative trade scenarios that the Milwaukee Bucks could be involved in. The first deadline domino fell on Monday with the Clippers sending Blake Griffin to the Pistons. This move got all fans predicting the next big move, including us. The Bucks have been in a number of rumors with big names since the pulled off the Bledsoe-Monroe swap. These names include Deandre Jordan, Kemba Walker, and Hassan Whiteside among other smaller names. The status has changed a bit in the past couple weeks due to the firing of Jason Kidd. The Bucks are no longer a “Young team that’s learning how to play the game at a high level with expectations that are a little bit too high”. They are a team looking to compete now and make it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They have a strong young core in place and they could be a move or two away from becoming legitimate Eastern Conference title contenders, not just this year, but for years to come. So what do the Bucks need to make that next step? A blockbuster trade? A minor trade for a major role player? Maybe they should stay pat and see how this core meshes with one of the biggest acquisitions of the deadline, Jabari Parker? Our panel discusses what they predict and hope the Bucks will do in this, the craziest week of the NBA season.
When looking at the Milwaukee Bucks 2017-18 season so far, some might call it disappointing. A team that should be competing for the third or fourth spot in the East has been hovering around the 6th-8th seed for quite some time now. While the amount of games separating East playoff teams remains small and a higher seed within grasps for the Bucks, it is evident some things have to change. Most recently, Jason Kidd was fired. However, that is not what I want to touch base on with today. My current focus sits on the upcoming trade deadline. Rumors have swirled all season long about the Bucks interest in Deandre Jordan, but will it happen? I believe not, especially seeing how the Clippers are competing (Mainly thanks to Lou Williams playing OUT OF HIS MIND) in the ever so tough west for a playoff spot. Besides, who wants to take on that monster contract anyway
So where does that leave the Bucks? Do we need a new big man? We currently have John Henson, who despite his brilliance this year, has always faltered down the stretch during recent seasons, and we have Thon, who is more like a stretch 4 than a center. So, I answer my own question with yes, we need a new big man! But who? Look no further than the team dead last in the East. Atlanta. Atlanta’s two big men are Collins and Dedmon. Collins, playing well and only being 20 years old should remain a piece of the Hawks future, however, Dedmon at 28 years old, could be shipped. Dedmon has bounced around numerous times throughout his NBA career and his 7-foot frame would fit well in Milwaukee and satisfy our need for a new big man. Here is the trade I would propose:
Milwaukee Receives: Dewayne Dedmon, Tyler Dorsey
Atlanta Receives: Matthew Dellavedova, D.J. Wilson, 2019 2nd Round Pick
Adding Dedmon is a win-win for the bucks. First off, we would be able to shed Dellavedova’s 9.61million salary and by trading him that would open up more minutes for Sterling Brown to play. Secondly, Dedmon could easily step into the role Henson currently has, which essentially consists of playing 25 minutes a game, running the pick and oop with Middelton and Bledsoe, and protecting the rim. An added bonus is that Dedmon is shooting 75% from the free throw line this year while Henson is at a struggling 57%. Those free points could be the difference in winning a few more games and help us secure a higher seed for the play-offs! Adding Tyler Dorsey, the Hawks 2017 2nd round pick makes the trade work financially for both sides. In 24 games this year Dorsey is shooting 35% from 3pt, so with a little luck and development in the G-League why not take the chance on him?
It is important to remember that the bucks are going to have a big addition back on the court fairly soon, with Jabari Parker coming back from his second ACL injury. He will likely have a minute restriction when he comes back but his talent is going to help this team even with a minute restriction. So without trading anyone we are going to get a player who is capable of putting up 20 points a night and that will help us tremendously. Jabari averaged 20.1 points (49% from the field, 36% from 3pt), 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists last season in the 51 games he played in. That being said even with Jabari coming back soon (February 2nd!!!), I think that it’s important to explore all our trading options but I do not believe it is a requirement because we are getting a great piece back without having to lose anyone on the team. I think it is important to not give up any of the core players on the current roster (Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, and Parker) So in my opinion we should not being going after a player like DeAndre Jordan just because they are going to want at least one of those players in that deal for a player who is a free agent in the offseason so we would likely only have him on the team for less than half a season. Here is the trade I would like to see the Bucks make:
Milwaukee receives: Evan Fournier, and Marreese Speights
Orlando receives: Matthew Dellavedova, D.J Wilson, Rashad Vaughn, and 2019 2nd round pick
Adding Fournier and Speights will add some much needed depth, bench scoring, and will also help space the floor. Fournier who is a career 38% 3 point shooter (39% this year from 3 point range) would add some fire power off the bench that would help take away the pressure off of Giannis, Khris and Eric. Speights would also be able to spread the floor, in 38 games this year he has shot 35% from 3. Speights also adds veteran leadership and valuable playoff experience, that will be very important if the bucks are going to make a deep playoff run.
I like the trades that Tyler and Trevor have brought up, but I honestly don’t see the Bucks pulling the trigger on anything this deadline. Sure there have been rumors involving the Bucks, but nothing has really developed out of those talks which tells me that Horst is sticking to his guns and not going to give up important pieces. Of course, teams will reduce their asking price as the deadline nears, but unless a team is willing to take on one of the contracts of Henson, Mirza, or Delly, I don’t see a big trade happening. To get anybody of value, we would need to part with at least one of those three to win a trade in my opinion. Another (probably unpopular) opinion of mine is that I would like to keep John Henson. He is a poor man’s Deandre Jordan, which is why John’s contract will likely be a third of what Deandre’s is next year, so why trade the much cheaper option who is having the best year of his career for the more expensive option who is showing signs that age is catching up to him?
Because we are creating trade scenarios, I will join the fun and share my favorite one. I agree with Tyler that Atlanta would be our best trade partner with their abundance of cap space, expiring contracts, and time as a high lottery pick team. Among their expiring contracts are several capable shooters and rebounders, which the Bucks could greatly benefit from. Currently, the Bucks have the lowest amount of total rebounds on the year at 1896, with the next lowest being the Kings at 1966 according to ESPN. We are also dead last in offensive rebounding totals by a wide margin. This may be due to the schemes the Bucks had been running under Kidd, but adding players like Dedmon and Ilyasova would still be a huge help. That is why, if I were the Bucks’ GM, I would propose:
Milwaukee receives: Dwayne Dedmon and Ersan Ilyasova
Atlanta receives: Mirza Teletovic, Rashad Vaughn, DJ Wilson, and 2018 2nd round pick
BRING BACK TURKISH THUNDER!! Atlanta is in a tight race for the league’s worst record. If they really want to go for it, they should think about giving up their two most productive big men. They get Mirza, who won’t play this year and they can buy out his contract next year. They also get two young guys on rookie contracts with some potential and a 2nd round pick in a probably deep draft. This clears up room for John collins to start (which I don’t understand why he isn’t starting now anyways). For the Bucks, the only real losses are the second round pick (which they have been successful with the last couple years) and the potential of DJ becoming a solid player in a couple years. That seems like enough to give up if they get rid of Mirza’s contract and gain two big, strong, physical rebounders. Ohh yeah, both of them can shoot the ball, too. Dedmon is shooting 37% from 3 and Ilyasova is at 36%. C’mon Atlanta, win that race for last place!
As has been stated by Tyler the Bucks are on the verge of being a top contender in the east. As we have seen already the upper management is not afraid to make a big move as long as key pieces aren’t being moved. So then what is the next move that takes us to the next level? Just a role player? Or do we need something bigger than that and shake things up? A role player could bring another element that we don’t have already, but another star could take some of the load that Giannis has been carrying throughout the first part of the season.
I think a trade of role players is the move we need to make. So what role players do we need? It has been shown that the Bucks need another big man, because our current centers get shoved around which has gotten us to the bottom of the league in rebounding. Another hole that needs to be filled is to get a more consistent 3 point shooter. Yes the Bucks have players that can shoot the three, but outside of Tony Snell there is not one player who shoots it consistently as their shot. Middleton, Brogdon, and Bledsoe all capable of shooting the three but there is still room for improvement. So the solution to the problem is to get another big man to help defensively and get more rebounds; as well as expanding the three point shooters on the team.
So here’s the trade (shaking things up a bit):
Milwaukee gets: Enes Kanter, Marco Belinelli, Michael Beasley
New York gets: Matthew Dellavedova, Ersan Ilyasova
Atlanta gets: Mirza Teletovic, Rashad Vaughn
With this deal the bucks move around role players and bring in a very strong big man who will grab rebounds in Kanter. Kanter is fourth in the NBA in rebounding at over 10 rebounds a game which would be a game changer for a team that struggles to get rebounds. Marco Belinelli is the three point shooter that the Bucks need; a career 37 percent from behind the arc, and shooting just shy of that at 36 percent this season. Not to mention filling the hole left behind by moving Delly. And lastly brining back Beasley who just gets buckets, which is something that the bucks have struggled with at times during games. These are three big acquisitions without losing too much could be the difference between making the playoffs and being a title contender.
It seems to be a unanimous belief that the Bucks should not part with any of its core pieces this deadline. Those core players include (as of now): Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe, Jabari, Brogdon, Snell, and Thon. The Bucks have a good thing going after the coaching change, so it is difficult to assess if they should make a move at this time or not. With the much anticipated return of Jabari Parker coming this Friday, that makes the assessment even more difficult. No matter what decision Jon Horst ultimately makes this coming week, it will be a roll of the dice. Let us just believe that the Bucks have changed the script and will not make an unnecessary move to win now while hurting their future. This panel believes in Horst and management and that Brandon Jennings’ prediction will finally come to fruition this year. BUCKS IN 6!!!
Authors: Tyler Koerth, Trevor Bender, Scott Wilsens, Max Perdue