While trading Michael Carter-Williams could be beneficial if a shooter came back in return, the Milwaukee Bucks should just stick with their long, and youthful point guard for at least the rest of this season.
When the Milwaukee Bucks traded away Brandon Knight for Michael Carter-Williams about a year ago to this date most fans were shocked. Now almost exactly a year later many of those same fans have the same questions. Why did we trade away our best player at the time for a relatively unknown point guard?
I wrote a piece at the beginning of this NBA season highlighting how the Bucks could be regretting that trade already when Brandon Knight got off to a blazing start this season in Phoenix.
While this piece highlighted how well Knight was playing at the time, it also mentioned the decent numbers Carter-Williams had been putting up to start this season for the Bucks.
Since then Knight has missed significant time due to injury and has been wildly inconsistent as the Suns have limped to a 14-40 record, good for 14th in the West. Even though the Bucks haven’t been much better at 22-32, good for 13th in the East, Carter-Williams has been solid once again even if the record hasn’t shown that.
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Brian Windhorst, a Senior NBA writer for ESPN recently wrote an article talking about the whirlwind of point guards being swapped at the deadline last season, and he claims the Bucks have mostly disappointed this season.
While Windhorst isn’t wrong, he probably doesn’t follow the Bucks as closely as we do here, and I’d consider that Carter-Williams is having a solid season. Shooting at 45.3 percent from the field, MCW has his best numbers shooting from the field in his short career so far. His line of 11.5 points per game, 5.5 assists per game and 5.1 rebounds a game is pretty impressive too.
The turnovers and out of control shots at the rim can be frustrating for many Bucks’ fans, and when you consider the fact that this is a jump shooting league more than ever before, you have to admit that the Bucks could certainly use some better perimeter shooting. Despite some improvements in shooting this year, Carter-Williams is still shooting a mediocre 28.9 percent from three-point range.
Windhorst also recently wrote about the Atlanta Hawks possibly splitting up their core players and starting over.
In the summer of 2013 the Bucks offered Jeff Teague a four-year $32 million deal while he was a restricted free agent with Atlanta. The Hawks ultimately matched the offer on the last day of the 72-hour time frame and what could’ve been never came through. Teague is still shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc, and I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to that sort of acquisition.
The chances of that deal are likely slim though, and where Carter-Williams is concerned Milwaukee might be better off not just looking to make a deal for the sake of it.
Too many times in recent years the Bucks have made deals at the deadline or during the offseason to get rid of players prematurely. Whether it was Ray Allen, or more recently Andrew Bogut, the Bucks ended up on the sour end of the deal.
Without even making any trades, the Bucks three-point shooting should increase after the All-Star break as is. O.J. Mayo has finally came back from a hamstring injury, and hopefully having regained his health he’ll rediscover his shooting touch that has been missing for most of the season.
Jerryd Bayless has been shooting better from deep this season too, and according to recent reports, Greivis Vasquez should be back before the regular season is over.
I already made a case for the current guys on the squad to stick around for at least the rest of this season and for the Bucks to just see what happens.
Just to finish an even .500 this season the Bucks would have to finish the second half 19-9 and even that probably wouldn’t guarantee getting the No.8 seed in the East, that’s a tall order but getting close to .500 or even a few games under is still not unrealistic for this current squad.
The Bucks schedule is pretty favorable down the stretch. They already have a home record of 15-8 before the All-Star break, and 18 of their final 28 games are at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. There is still plenty of time for the Bucks to play some good basketball this season with Michael Carter-Williams on the roster.