Bucks

What Trade Brings This Year’s Tucker to Milwaukee?

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The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t likely to be wheeling and dealing at this year’s trade deadline.

With the cap situation the team is in, General Manager Jon Horst will probably monitor the buyout market. A shrewd move can be made ahead of Thursday’s 3pm ET deadline, however.

Milwaukee doesn’t have much for draft picks or young talent to entice teams. They’re still looking for this year’s P.J. Tucker to complete the Big 3, Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez and Grayson Allen with the missing piece for an NBA Championship repeat run.

First, what do the Bucks have that they could part ways with? Donte DiVincenzo, Jordan Nwora and George Hill could be dealt for the right move. Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood, too, but they would just be salary-filler options. Pat Connaughton is unlikely to be moved as he has become a fixture in Milwaukee and was spectacular off the bench in the Bucks’ championship run while being one of the few consistent non-big-three players on the team.

What realistic options are out there with the Bucks’ limited resources? Let’s take a look at some options ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.

Cory Joseph

Joseph has been shooting the lights out this season for the Pistons at 43 percent from deep. The Bucks do have guards, but the team could use an upgrade at the backup point-guard spot. Joseph could also play with Jrue Holiday in a more combo-guard role. One concern, though, is Joseph is just a career 34.2 percent three-point shooter. Is it a fluke right now?

Damian Jones/Chimezie Metu

The Sacramento Kings have a surplus of bigs and the Bucks could really use one. The Deer can play Giannis at the 5 in the playoffs. But to play Giannis at center the entire regular season for regular minutes would be taxing. Damian Jones and Chimezie Metu both are young, cheap bigs. Jones is the rebounder and banger, while Metu can hit elbow jumpers and is very athletic.

Gorgui Dieng

Dieng is the odd man out in Atlanta. The Hawks may not want to deal with the Bucks at all having fallen to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals last year. If Dieng is available, the Bucks should go knocking. He is a stretch five on offense and is very long, fitting the Bucks’ mold for bigs with his ability to hit the three and be disruptive defensively.

Dennis Schroder

Averaging 14.4 points per game this year, Schroder has struggled to find consistency but has always had great potential. He would be a very good bench-scoring option, a shot creator that isn’t too common in a reserve role.

The Bucks have attempted to make a move for Schroder in the past. He would run the point or play off ball with Holiday.

Jalen Smith

The Phoenix Suns may have eyes towards a potential Finals rematch and not deal with the Bucks. Smith, the No. 10 pick by Phoenix in 2020, has all the tools the Bucks like in a big– a long rim protector who can step out and hit shots on the perimeter. Smith isn’t playing much in Phoenix and could get a role increase with the Bucks. Per 36 minutes, Smith is averaging 16.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and nearly two blocks.

Could the Bucks net Smith by dangling Jordan Nwora?

Mike Muscala

Mike Muscala is an elite shooter. He would be quite the pairing with Giannis when he gets minutes at the five. The Bucks would have arguably two of the best shooting bigs in the NBA with Portis and Muscala. The 30-year-old has had a diminished role with the youthful Thunder, averaging less than 14 minutes per game, but is still shooting 43 percent from three.

Aaron Holiday

While Justin Holiday dealt to Sacramento already this week, the Bucks could look to the youngest Holiday brother, Aaron for some guard depth. In 41 games this season (14 starts), Aaron is averaging 6.1 points (47% FG, 34% 3PT, 80% FT) and 1.9 assists over 16.2 minutes per game with the Wizards.

What will they do?

At the most, the Bucks likely make just one or two minor moves. It could be from among this group. The Bucks are more likely, though, to be busy in the buyout market. Some names to watch there include Robin Lopez, Thaddeus Young and perhaps Eric Bledsoe.

As we said at the top, the Bucks will be looking for the missing piece like P.J. Tucker was last year. As the season progresses, it appears the Bucks are looking more and more like they are once again that one piece away from a title.

About Mitchell Skurzewski

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