Overall Trade Grade
This deal can’t simply be looked at as Tony Snell for Michael Carter-Williams in a vacuum. The truth is that the Milwaukee Bucks are already paying quite a bit of money for this team, and the expectation that comes with money is success.
This team wants to win. Even without Middleton, the Bucks expect to at least be in the hunt for a playoff seed. Snell gives Milwaukee a better shot at that than MCW did, considering their roles and respective fit with the team.
Snell can help space out the offense for Giannis and Jabari, which is something that Carter-Williams simply couldn’t offer. Even the second unit wasn’t truly a good fit for MCW, considering that Greg Monroe needs space to operate in as well.
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Even when Middleton comes back, Tony Snell is a better fit for the Milwaukee Bucks than Michael Carter-Williams was. This trade is Milwaukee effectively giving up on the promise of MCW ever being good enough to defy conventional logic by working alongside at least two other non-shooters almost all the time.
Comparing this to the Brandon Knight trade, or any other trade, is a fruitless exercise. It needs to be looked at as a standalone move, used to prepare the Bucks to survive without Middleton. The trade will make the team better in both the short term and the long term.
That makes it a good deal, even if there was a bit of talent lost. MCW didn’t have much trade value, and neither did Snell. That makes the trade a solid enough move before evaluating team need.