The Bucks are 41-6, do they need to shake things up?
No of course not.
Should the Bucks keep their ears open in case anything compelling becomes available?
Absolutely. What would that look like for Milwaukee? I would say it almost definitely does not involve any of their current starting five. You might say why include Wes Matthews? Well it would be a really bad look if a guy takes a discount to play for a contender and you trade him. So who is available?
My list would look something like:
- Sterling Brown
- Dragan Bender
- Ersan Ilyasova
- DJ Wilson
Which can get you up to about 10-12m in salary to match. Their most compelling tradeable asset is probably Indiana’s first round pick from the Malcolm Brogdon trade.
Some potential guys I would target?
- Bogdan Bogdanovic
- Marcus Morris
- Robert Covington
- Jae Crowder
Basically my list is all wings who could potentially provide depth at backup forward. To make the list you have to be able to shoot and defend. All of those players would have bird rights so the Bucks could extend them beyond this year using their cap holds. Covington is under contract for the next few seasons at a reasonable rate already and is probably the best player on that list, so he’d be the most compelling to pursue a trade for. For that reason he is the hardest to get, the Twolves likely want to use him to get a long term player for next to Towns instead of a mid-first round pick. You also have to question the chemistry fit of everyone, especially after last night’s incident involving Marcus Morris and Jae Crowder.
So in what looks to be an increasingly likely scenario, the Bucks might not make a move and they will keep the pick. Which would not necessarily be a bad thing, they are after all 41-6 with a historically great net rating. This draft might not be particularly great but the Bucks could certainly find someone interesting with the pick.
The Bucks have no real needs, my desire for a forward would help a potential finals matchup with the Clippers, but is not a real need. The Raptors won a title last year in large part, because they went out and got Marc Gasol who played a key role against Philly and Milwaukee. Though none of the guys on my list have the ability that Gasol did.
So the Bucks keep it all together, they should be substantial favorites over any eastern conference team. I need to see what the LA teams look like in playoffs before I make any definitive statements about how the Bucks matchup with them, but right now I am fairly optimistic about the Bucks against both teams. I truly believe the Bucks can win the title this year with this roster. I am curious how the other teams will approach the deadline, but as of right now it seems like we are looking at a quieter deadline where no all-stars switch teams.
The Bucks might take a look at a buyout forward as well, could clear a spot by waiving Bender (or really any other expiring guy if you want to keep Bender). Unsure what kind of player makes it there, but the option is out there for Milwaukee. The Bucks will likely be a preferred destination for buyout candidates, they are just that dominant right now.
If the Bucks would fall substantially short this year, it would signal a need for a big move this summer. Like if we lost in Round 2, how can you really justify running it back? Someone would have to go. If Bledsoe turns into a pumpkin again we have to have a tough conversation about him being our point guard going forward. For now though the Bucks look ready to dominate the playoffs, so if they do make a move, lets keep it simple and consolidate some deep bench guys into one fringe starter caliber player. Keep the core together and see how far it can take you!