With the trade deadline creeping up on the league quickly, trade rumors are spreading like wildfire. The Bucks, as usual, are pretty much nowhere to be seen. Last season, Monroe stayed put at the trade deadline and we did capitalize on the interest of Teletovic and Dellavedova, but only months later in free agency. Hammond pulled the trigger on a swap, that seemed to come out of nowhere, that sent Miles Plumlee to Charlotte in return for Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes. Which is impressive given the fact that Plumlee’s contract was starting to seem virtually immovable. Plumlee had all but fallen completely out of Kidd’s rotation, getting just 9.7 minutes per game. Hibbert, a physical big man has battled injuries this season and has posted career lows in points and rebounds. Hawes is a proven 3 point specialist and he adds some versatility to the frontcourt. However, he is shooting just 29% from deep on the season, his lowest in 7 seasons. Hammond went on  to say that, “Spencer and Roy are two proven NBA centers who give us additional depth in the front court. The trade also gives us future cap flexibility as we continue to shape our roster.” The Bucks were, more or less, a safe bet to make the playoffs this year at the start of the season. Despite Middleton’s absence Milwaukee played very well with the weapons they had, starting 11-9 in the first 20 games. They’ve started to skid as of late, going 7-13 in their last 20.

 

In order to address Milwaukee’s trade deadline possibilities, we need to first set some parameters for players that may be moved. Adam McGee over at Fansided did a great job on this. The Bucks have three UNTOUCHABLE players and they’re pretty obvious: Giannis, Jabari, and Middleton. I highly doubt there’s a single player in the league the Bucks would consider trading Giannis for, so the 22 year old all-star starter is not up for grabs. Middleton is on contract through the 2019-20 season, which is real attractive to other teams. However, Middleton is also under contract for just a fraction of what he’s really worth. Hammond would not consider trading a player of his caliber for the contract we have him under; it’s a steal. Furthermore, he’s just coming off an injury which may turn some teams off. Jabari’s situation is a bit more complicated.  In light of his recent knee injury, his short-term value has completely disappeared, and his long-term value is still in question. That being said, if the Bucks decided to deal Parker, they’d likely get an extremely discounted return that’ll likely come back to haunt them. The best best is to keep faith in Jabari and hope that his recovery goes well. He’s still under his rookie contract, and is a proven commodity. His health is something we’ll have to wait and see about.

 

Brogdon and Thon are definitely two players the Bucks would like to keep. While not ‘untouchable’ they’ll likely be very hard for another team to trade for. Brogdon has thrived when he’s been put in starter positions and even has a triple double under his belt already. While The Prez doesn’t put up super sexy stats, his basketball IQ and readiness for the NBA has proven to be an extremely valuable asset for the Bucks, Maker has showcased his sweet stroke from deep, 48.4% on the year, and has proven to be a viable rim protector as well.


 

Snell and Teletovic fall under a category called ‘reluctant to deal’ Snell being the easiest to gauge. Milwaukee finally has a reliable 3 point shooter on the roster and I doubt they’ll be looking to move that anytime soon. Teletovic and Delly are harder to get due to the fact that they were free agency signing from last summer and are great fits for the most part. Both of them are under contract for the next three years and their play has shown its benefits.

 

The rest of the roster is available. That includes: Greg Monroe, Michael Beasley, Jason Terry, John Henson, Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert, and Rashad Vaughn.


 

After the trade for Hawes and Hibbert, our PF and C positions are pretty crowded. Five of the fifteen roster spots are Centers, two Power Forwards. That’s seven bigs. One of those being Jabari Parker, so we’ll knock it down to six for now. That’s pretty obviously too many big men, especially when we’ve been craving better PG play for a few years now. So who gets moved? The obvious choice is Greg Monroe, who has essentially been on the trade block since he was signed in the summer of 2015. Monroe also has a player option for the summer of 2017-18 season. However, one can argue that Monroe is having the best season of his career in Milwaukee. For one, this is his first season he’s had a positive net rating. The Bucks lineup as a whole is also sitting at a +114.1 Offensive rating with Monroe on the court, as opposed to a +107.0 off the court. However, most of us knew he was an offensive threat, despite his seemingly unfit play style for the young Bucks. His concern was, and has continued to be defense and rebounding. The Bucks, though, have a DRB% of 76.6% with Monroe on the court, versus 74.1% with him off. Most of us aren’t mathematicians, so I’ll calculate it for you: that’s a +2.1 difference. Which means that the Bucks grab 2.1% more defensive rebounds with Monroe on the court. To give you some context, John Henson, who is seen as a quality rebounder around the league due to his long and lanky arms. Has a difference of -2.7, which means the Bucks actually grab a higher percentage of available rebounds with him off the court. Milwaukee should jump on just about any trade for the rest of the players on that list, Monroe we should be smart about. Despite the fact that he doesn’t really fit with the young Bucks fast-paced offense, he’s played extremely well for us this season.

 

The guard depth is interesting for a different reason: there really isn’t any. While Brogdon has proven himself to be a viable starter on a borderline playoff team, I don’t think he’d be good enough for us to compete for a championship in that role. Dellavedova, though a very scrappy player, is an average defender at best. Believe it or not, Delly actually has a worse defensive rating than Jabari Parker. As a whole, when Delly is on the court, the Bucks’ opponent’s offensive rating is 112.9-with him off it dips to 106.7. Not to say that our defense is just better with him off the floor, his scrappy nature makes a big difference in some games. But overall, he’s not great and we could definitely deal him for a better PG. Even if he did kinda sorta shut down Steph Curry in the 2015 Finals. Middleton and Snell, as I mentioned above, likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Middleton is a more than capable scorer as well as a good defender, as he posted a True Shooting % of 56.0% last season as well as a defensive rating of just 96.0 two seasons ago. Snell is a viable option off the bench when Milwaukee just needs a quick bucket in a cold stretch. Jason Terry is a different story, as he is a valued part of the team for different reasons. He is in the rotation, playing 17.1 MPG, but for the wrong reasons. A seasoned vet such as himself should be playing minutes to help the younger guys learn how to perform in certain situations, not because there’s just nobody else to put out there. He was signed this past summer to provide some leadership in an inexperienced locker room. I don’t think he, or any of us for that matter, expected to be playing nearly 20 MPG. Rashad Vaughn…What can I say? His stroke is silky smooth, but it still isn’t as reliable as many of us had hoped. After a short stint in the D-League, he’s shooting just 33.6% from deep this season, he’s left much to be desired. Don’t be surprised if he is no longer a member of the Bucks once the deadline rolls around.

 

Remember that Hammond quote from a bit ago? Go ahead and scroll up if you don’t, I won’t hold it against you. That last part is what’s really important, that cap part. Hibbert hits the open market after this season, and will likely be a half-season rental. Hawes could hit the market this season if he decides to decline his player option for next season. Let’s be honest, few of us were exactly celebrating when he heard we had just gotten Hibbert and Hawes, nor were many of us complaining that we just got rid of Plumlee. It just kind of…happened. Simply a roster change. Both of the players will likely be nothing more than rotational players, with Hawes getting more minutes due to his stroke from deep, even with his lower-than-usual percentages this season. Both of them will also provide a bit of a veteran presence in an otherwise very young Bucks locker room.

 

Ultimately, Hammond and co. likely won’t make too many notable moves, if any at all. Milwaukee is known to be relatively quiet around this time of year in terms of blockbuster trades as they typically do their roster work in the draft or over summer. Exceptions would include the Knight-MCW trade as well as the trade in 2013 that sent Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih, and Tobias Harris to Orlando, in exchange for JJ Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ish Smith. Overall, I wouldn’t be expecting too much but if we get a deal worth making, I’m definitely not opposed to shaking up the roster a bit, because some changes definitely need to be made if we want to win a championship.

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