Milwaukee Bucks: 3 big questions at the halfway mark of the 2019-20 season

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 6: (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 6: (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 02: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 02: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Trade deadline watch

Arguably the biggest question facing the Bucks is the one we’ll have an answer to over the next couple of weeks. This season’s NBA trade deadline is 23 days from now on February 6 and all of the speculation and trade rumors have been steadily simmering as we inch closer to the deadline.

To this point, the Bucks have lurked in the background in regard to the growing trade market and haven’t been credibly linked to any player of interest in recent weeks.

In fact, the only speculation that’s been centered around the Bucks has come through ESPN’s Woj & Lowe special last month featuring Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski, when Lowe gave an in-depth assessment of where the Bucks stand this trade season, including the big asset they could offer to grab a big deadline addition:

"“Milwaukee is running away with the East. They’re 24-3, they’re killing everybody. If there were ever a 24-3 team that can’t just rest on its laurels of being 24-3 — that has to look really hard at itself and say, ‘Are we sure we’re this good? Are we sure there’s nothing else we can do to make our team better?’ — it’s this Bucks team. This is the biggest moment for this organization, probably since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was there, with Giannis staring at the supermax in the summer. I would expect them to stand pat, but you’ve got to expect they’re going to look at stuff.” “I think they’ll look at a guy like Robert Covington, or J.J. Redick if he were to become available. And I have heard, they’re a little bit under the luxury tax, I think they would go over it for a deal that puts them over the top. And they have the Pacers pick that they got over the summer for Malcolm Brogdon, that’ll be out there.”"

That Pacers first rounder in this year’s draft, which is currently slotted 21st after they leapfrogged the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night, is by far the biggest asset the Bucks could part with to get a significant upgrade.

And we only have to look back to last season to see how aggressive Bucks general manager Jon Horst is when it comes to bringing in reinforcements ahead of a title push, as the Bucks packaged four second rounders to bring in sharpshooting forward Nikola Mirotic in a three-team deal with the Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans in 2018-19.

But given just how head and shoulders above this Bucks team is compared to the rest of the Eastern Conference, and arguably the league as a whole, Horst may look to stand pat and hold on to the biggest draft asset the Bucks have in their war chest for the following several seasons.

It’s a tough tightrope to walk, given the gravity of this season, and how it ends could determine whether Antetokounmpo signs the supermax extension he will be offered at the first second it can be handed out by Horst and the Bucks’ front office. We’ll just have to see whether Horst believes this team is closer to their goal of winning an NBA title or will need a boost to further increase their chances in that regard.

Next. 5 trade targets to bolster Bucks' roster before deadline. dark

All of these questions and a whole lot more will surely be answered over the course of the second half of the Bucks’ 2019-20 season and we’ll just have to wait to see the outcome of it all as the year moves along.