Milwaukee Bucks: Observations On The MCW-Snell Swap

Oct 23, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Tony Snell (20) dribbles against the Dallas Mavericks at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Chicago defeated Dallas 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Tony Snell (20) dribbles against the Dallas Mavericks at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Chicago defeated Dallas 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

With news of a deal finally official, what does a Michael Carter-Williams/Tony Snell deal means for everyone involved?

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls may have met for a preseason duel Saturday night, but it was what happened after the game that caught everyone’s attention.

According to’s Zach Lowe and Marc Stein, both teams have reportedly agreed to a deal that would send former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to the Bulls in exchange for swingman Tony Snell.

With further confirmation of the move made by both Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, all that was presumably left was for the league to finalize the swap, which came early on Monday morning as both parties confirmed the deal.

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Of course, this move brings to an end Carter-Williams’ time in Milwaukee, where the bright spots during his tenure were few and far between. The same can be said for Snell’s time with the Bulls, who the team selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

While the swap is not exactly an inspiring one, the move does align with the thinking behind the majority of the moves the Bucks have made during the offseason.

Snell’s role playing potential has largely been unrealized in his young career, but his physical tools and somewhat reliable shooting ability certainly make him a useful wing for the Bucks, at least in theory.

Add in the loss of Middleton for what could be the entire season and it only accelerated the front office’s need to find a wing capable of handling the bare necessities at the team’s 2 spot left in the wake of his injury.

That reality cuts to the crux of the issue that revolves around this move.

A common criticism of the deal among some fans and followers in the time since the news broke has centered on the perceived disparity between Snell and Carter-Williams as players.

Snell hasn’t reached the heights (albeit, brief) Carter-Williams has in the short time both have been in the league, but if the last 12 months or so have taught us anything, it’s that the quality of a player arguably doesn’t matter if he’s not able to fit within the team’s roster.

Despite what many of us envisioned for him heading into the year, the addition of Matthew Dellavedova and the rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo as the team’s primary playmaker left Carter-Williams between a (Ayers) rock and a hard place.

Now heading to Chicago, Carter-Williams will likely face a similar set of challenges trying to integrate himself within a Bulls roster whose shooting concerns might only rival that of the Bucks.

Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

As for Snell, there isn’t much evidence to suggest he’ll be a major contributor to rely on right away, given all of the question marks that surround him. At this point, it’s very much on Snell to strike at the opportunity that’s being handed to him in his change of scenery.

That shouldn’t be mistaken for the level he’s capable of playing or how his few strengths directly relate to what the Bucks need heading into the season. However, if Snell makes an impact right away and/or can start to overcome his consistency issues, all the better for the Bucks.

From here, where Snell slots in the team’s depth chart will certainly be interesting to watch. With Malcolm Brogdon playing more or less as a combo guard during the time he’s seen the floor, Snell’s direct competition looks to be Rashad Vaughn.

Competition may be a strong word, considering Vaughn’s non-existent production so far in his one season in the league. Regardless, it’s hard to see issues over minutes distribution between the two arise since the Bucks need to take what they can get with Middleton sidelined.

No clear winners stand in the one-for-one deal of Snell and Carter-Williams, at least not yet.  Both teams are tasked with managing to get the best out of their new players and the makeup of their rosters, respectively, will likely be a big factor for how well that goes.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Taking A Closer Look At Tony Snell

Nonetheless, the deal caps an unceremonious end on the Michael Carter-Williams era in Milwaukee. For the shocking and dramatic fashion with which it began, the MCW era ultimately came to the logical and natural conclusion that it had long looked destined to reach.