The Milwaukee Bucks already made the biggest mid-season change imaginable when they fired first-time head coach Adrian Griffin to bring in Doc Rivers. They still need to do more work to separate themselves from the rest of the field of championship contenders.
The best way to do it is via trades ahead of the February 8 trade deadline. The Bucks need more size, athleticism, and defense, and they are likely to part ways with a few of the players below to do that.
1. Pat Connaughton
The 31-year-old swingman has been a consummate professional since he came to Milwaukee in 2018. He always plays hard and competes on both ends of the floor. He has been a solid bench player for years and can step into the starting lineup as needed.
He is shooting it well this year, hitting over 38 percent of his three-pointers, but he has slowed down defensively. He is not the quickest, most dynamic athlete anymore, and given the defensive deficiencies throughout the rest of the Bucks' roster, an upgrade on Connaughton may be needed.
The team is already small and defensively challenged with the Damian Lillard-Malik Beasley backcourt. A bigger, more athletic wing who can be a better option guarding the best perimeter players on the other team is needed.
Given Connaughton's ideal $9 million contract that can be used to match salaries in a trade, he is a good candidate to be moved.