With the March 25th trade deadline slowly approaching, it is that time of year when we start to speculate what players the Milwaukee Bucks could potentially bring in on a trade.
On February 6th, many free agents who signed deals this past offseason are now available to be traded, so trades in the NBA will most likely start to pick up soon. Unlike many years, there are really no big names being thrown around. The only superstar that likely could potentially be traded is Bradley Beal, but as of now, it appears he will be staying put in Washington.
This will be a relatively quiet trade deadline for the league as a whole. Many contending teams are all out of cap room and assets, including the Bucks.
For the Milwaukee Bucks, it will be very hard to pull off a meaningful trade. They have no first-round picks that can be traded for a couple of years due to the trade that brought in Jrue Holiday. Additionally, the Bucks are hard-capped.
These two factors combined will make it very difficult for the Bucks to pull off a trade while additionally having little desirable young talent. Regardless, it is fun to speculate. So let’s look at three potential trade targets for the Bucks this deadline.
JJ Redick Return?
While this is probably the least likely option out of this list, it is worth considering. JJ Redick was a former deadline deal for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013 when the Herb Kohl-era Bucks were making their annual push for the 8th seed.
The trade was ultimately a disaster, as the Bucks ended up trading Tobias Harris and Redick ultimately ended up feuding with former Bucks coach Jim Boylan. It’s usually not a good sign when a player and coach do not talk for an entire playoff series. But that is the past.
With the Pelicans reportedly shopping JJ Redick, should the Milwaukee Bucks look into him?
Redick has a large salary of $13 million on his expiring contract this year. This makes the salaries awfully hard to match up. While Redick would be a fantastic fit in this Bucks system, he has actually been struggling this year, shooting only 34% from 3. So while a second JJ Redick deadline deal to Milwaukee is fun to think about, it is fairly unlikely.
Evan Fournier to Milwaukee?
Evan Fournier is probably the best player that will be traded this deadline, which says a lot about this trade deadline, but it is no knock at Fournier.
Fournier had a fantastic season last year, as he averaged 18.5 points a game on 40% shooting from 3. Fournier is a great scorer and shooter, so naturally, he would be a great fit on the Bucks.
Like Redick, Fournier is in the final year of his contract, but also, like Redick, his salary this year is very large. Fournier is making 17 million dollars this year, so once again, the salaries will be hard to match up. Brook Lopez and his roughly $12.5 million contract would almost certainly have to be involved in a potential Fournier trade.
PJ Tucker Trade?
Last, but not least, this is probably my favorite and most realistic trade for this deadline. PJ Tucker’s stats will never jump off the screen at you, but make no mistake about it: he will be a valuable asset for most contending teams.
Tucker can space the floor pretty decently as he’s shot the 3-ball at about a 36% clip the past four years. Tucker’s most valuable skill is his defensive versatility. After the Rockets traded Clint Capela at the deadline last year, Houston played extreme small ball the rest of the year. Tucker ended up guarding the opponent’s center most of the time.
As a reminder, Tucker is only 6’5″. This type of versatility would allow the Bucks to experiment with many different combinations of lineups. Additionally, Tucker is in the last year of his contract and is currently making about $8 million.
This makes it easier to match salaries for a potential trade. While many other teams will be making the call to Houston for Tucker, the Bucks should definitely consider fielding an offer.
While it is more likely than not that the Bucks do not make a move this trade deadline, it is always worth considering potential trades to improve their roster. It is unlikely that the Bucks trade for any of these players with the little money and assets they currently have, but it is still fun to think about.