Though Sanders has been a bit of a disappointment this season, he isn’t likely to be dealt at the Feb. 20 deadline.
*Editor’s note: This piece was written by occasional Behind the Buck Pass contributor Justin Becker.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the worst team in the NBA this season. Nonetheless, there is one positive outcome to take away from their dismal season. The team is on a crash course toward the top lottery position in the star-loaded 2014 NBA Draft class.
As the latest reports state, Milwaukee is exploring some trade scenarios, which would allow the team to add yet another draft pick, probably somewhere in the middle of the first round. To do so, the Bucks would have to trade away a valuable member of the team. Nonetheless, the team seems to be willing to do so, as they to gear up for the future.
Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova seem to be the two players the Bucks are considering trading away. Even though both of them steadily contribute for Milwaukee, they also have significant value and lots of teams around the league would consider giving away a mid-first round pick in the upcoming draft to acquire them.
Sanders is especially considered as a valuable asset for the Bucks. He is just 25 years old, stands at 6’11” and weighs 235 pounds. Although this season he hasn’t played up to his potential, mainly due to some injury issues, Sanders will certainly draw interest from a bunch of teams around the league should the Bucks make him available. However, an ESPN report published Friday seems to indicate that won’t be the case.
The trade window closes on Feb. 20, so Milwaukee will have to make its move sooner than later. Certainly the team is happy to see its youngsters playing well. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Greek Freak”, is showing the NBA world that he has star potential, something people around the league believed even prior to him entering the draft. Brandon Knight is also playing relatively well, even if it hasn’t translated to victories. The two of them, along with Sanders and John Henson, will likely comprise the core of the team going forward.
What the Bucks are trying to do is to add more young talent to a roster burdened with limited-potential veterans. Of course, even if Milwaukee picks one or two top-notch rookies in the summer of 2014, like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Julius Randle, they won’t instantly become championship contenders. In fact, the Bucks might not even make it to the playoffs.
Nonetheless, they will have set the foundation for a much better future. The team would then have versatility, star-power and the ability to begin developing their young prospects. The good thing is that the Bucks know what they have to do. It’s a process almost any NBA team has to go through at some point or another. Now, we will have to wait and see if Milwaukee goes all-in for the future by initiating a trade.