The Milwaukee Bucks Must Acquire Another Point Guard

With their current crop of back-court players failing to make an impact, the Milwaukee Bucks must acquire another point guard.

The Milwaukee Bucks have had an inconsistent start to the season.

Though they’ve shown a competitive edge against some of the league’s best, the Bucks remain around the .500 mark and have failed to put themselves above the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference.

A significant part of their struggles has stemmed from the play of their point guards. Though they have shined at times so far this season, the point guards have failed to have the impact necessary to achieve success.

When the Bucks signed Matthew Dellavedova in the off-season, they were hoping to acquire a player who’d provide them with solid defense and ability to hit spot-up threes.

At his best, Dellavedova has done those things. He has made things difficult for opposing guards and provided crucial floor spacing for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.

John Wall (2) defends in the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dellavedova, however, has begun to suffer from a tremendous shooting slump. Over his last ten games, Dellavedova has shot just 29.7% from the field.

Much of his struggles have stemmed from the Bucks asking him to do things that are beyond his strengths as an NBA player.

In the Bucks loss against the Wizards on Monday night, Dellavedova shot 1-9 from the field. Many of his misses came in the final period.

When it came to crunch time late in the 4th quarter, Dellavedova, not Antetokounmpo or Parker, was given the role of initiating the offense. This took the ball out of the hands of the Bucks best playmakers, leaving the less skilled Dellavedova to run things.

Predictably, many of the plays the Bucks ran in the half-court broke down. This forced him to take high difficulty shots, resulting in many misses. This allowed the Wizards to maintain their run, and propelled them to a comeback victory.

The Bucks knew when they signed Dellavedova that he had his limitations. He is a valuable contributor because he fits many of the team’s needs. However, he is not a starting point guard in today’s NBA. He’s not able to create his own shot or get to the basket with any consistency. To expect him to do more is short-sighted.

Jason Terry (3) during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of Dellavedova, the Bucks lack another clear point guard. Jason Terry has played significant minutes off the bench when Dellavedova comes out. However, Terry was brought in for his veteran leadership, not for his contributions on the floor.

Malcolm Brogdon has emerged as a playmaking guard, but he’s still just a rookie and the Bucks could use extra help.

This leaves the Bucks with few options. Their current crop of point guards all have significant limitations. The recent injury to Dellavedova has made Brogdon the starter, and left Milwaukee without a backup at the position.

The Milwaukee Bucks should consider jumping into the trade market for another point guard. Though the market is unlikely to land the Bucks a clear cut starter, it could help them address their lack of depth at the position. Brogdon or Dellavedova could also slide to the shooting guard position and play minutes there, meaning the team would gain flexibility.

Who may be available isn’t entirely clear. Few teams look destined to be lottery picks yet. However, there are a few potential options.

Deron Williams of the Dallas Mavericks may be an option. Williams would provide the Bucks with a serviceable starting guard. He can set up others, create his own shot, and provide the team with three-point shooting. His veteran leadership may also be a critical asset, especially if the Bucks plan on making noise in the playoffs this season.

Dec 18, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) brings the ball up court against the Sacramento Kings during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not hard to envision Dallas making him available as the deadline approaches, especially as they fall further out of contention in the Western Conference.

Another potential option for the Bucks may be Jameer Nelson. Though the Nuggets are within striking distance of an eighth seed, they may decide to move Nelson to give Emmanuel Mudiay more playing time.

Nelson is not as good as Williams, but can still provide a team with good shooting from three-point range (shooting 35.5% on 3.3 attempts per game). He’s also an effective scorer who can get to the basket with some success.

There are other players who look destined to be moved as well. DJ Augustin is a solid passer and three-point shooter. He may become available if the Orlando Magic fall further behind in the East.

Sergio Rodriguez of the Philadelphia 76ers has also had success from deep this year, and is also a respectable distributor. It’s likely he’ll be made available with the Philadelphia 76ers destined for the high lottery once again.

Regardless of who may be available, the Bucks must add another point guard if they plan on competing effectively in the Eastern Conference this season. The team lacks depth at the position, and the current crop of guys is inadequate.

Unless they address this issue, the Bucks season may end sooner than they expect.

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