The Bucks’ bench has been a key component of the team’s success so far this season, but a glimpse into its one potential weakness has been highlighted at times over the past couple of weeks.
Milwaukee’s second unit is packed with remarkably solid and intelligent contributors, but it lacks an offensive game-changer capable of taking a game by the scruff of the neck and scoring points in bunches.
Step forward, long-time Bucks killer Terrence Ross.
Set to turn 28 years old on Tuesday, Ross may not have quite lived up to the 3-and-D potential that likely enticed the Raptors to draft and develop him, yet he has transformed into more of an offensive spark-plug as his career has progressed.
That’s culminated with Ross enjoying a career-year with the Magic this season, averaging 19.2 points per 36 minutes (14.1 per game), and shooting 37.7 percent from deep, while coming off the bench.
Adding that kind of threat to the second unit would only further fuel the Bucks’ strong bench, and with Ross’ $10.5 million set to come off the books at the end of the year, a deal for the former Washington Husky would only further improve Milwaukee’s flexibility ahead of an important summer in free agency.
Writing in his recent trade deadline primer for ESPN, Zach Lowe commented on the Magic front office’s potential willingness to move Ross:
"“They would likely deal Terrence Ross for a future asset, though it’s unclear if they can snag even a heavily-protected first-round pick for him. (Two second-rounders might end up being the price.)”"
Meanwhile, only a couple of days ago, Aaron Goldstone of SB Nation’s Orlando Pinstriped Post suggested Donte DiVincenzo and Jason Smith in exchange for Ross and a second round pick as the potential parameters of a Bucks/Magic deal.
Swapping Maker for DiVincenzo in that deal would realistically negate the need for the Magic to send a second round pick, and may ultimately suit both sides better.
John Hammond would even get to reunite with one of his former long-armed draft picks, which may appeal to Orlando considering Nikola Vucevic‘s uncertain future and the Magic’s rumored concerns over Mo Bamba.
There may be some fine-tuning required to get a deal over the line, but a trade for Ross does have win-win potential for both the Bucks and Magic.