Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Bucks were in running for Derrick Rose

Jan 6, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks are on a roll with four straight wins under the belt and now 15-8 on the 2020-21 season.

An offseason of turning over half of their roster and making fundamental changes both in personnel and their overall system has sparked a new process for a Bucks team that knew change would ultimately bring out the best for them in light of playoff disappointments. It hasn’t been smooth at times, but things have certainly come together as the season has progressed.

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That’s why it makes it a little curious to see the report from Yahoo! Sports’ Vince Goodwill that the Bucks were among those in the running to acquire veteran point guard Derrick Rose before he was reportedly shipped to the New York Knicks Sunday afternoon.

While reports of the return the Detroit Pistons received for Rose has not been confirmed, the Pistons are expected to receive a second round pick and the expiring deal of Dennis Smith Jr from New York. (UPDATE: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Knicks are sending a 2021 second rounder that previous came in a deal via the Charlotte Hornets).

From that standpoint, it’s hard to imagine how the Bucks would have competed for a comparable trade offer.

Trading for Derrick Rose would have put the Milwaukee Bucks in a bind.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted Saturday morning, February 6 saw whole bunch of trade restrictions lift for players who signed deals in the offseason.

For the Bucks, that means offseason additions like D.J. Augustin, Torrey Craig, Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis are all now trade eligible after signing their respective deals from late fall. As Marks noted in an article ($$), both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Pat Connaughton are still restricted after signing their respective deals (No, I’m not implying the Bucks would trade Antetokounmpo nor Connaughton).

So while the Bucks had more breathing room to match Rose’s expiring $7.6 million salary, it’s hard to imagine the Pistons would want to take on long-term money like Augustin to make a one-for-one type deal. The same applies to such bench pieces like Craig, Forbes and Portis, who all hold more value to contending teams such as the Bucks rather than a rebuilding squad like Detroit or the Bucks even entertaining parting ways with third-year guard Donte DiVincenzo for a potential rental with Rose.

And the fact that the Bucks’ draft cupboard is quite bare, especially after losing their 2022 second rounder after the Bogdan Bogdanovic fiasco, further complicated their pursuit of trying to add a player like Rose’s caliber. In his 15 appearances this season, Rose is averaging 14.2 points on .429/.333/.840 shooting, 4.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds over 22.8 minutes per contest.

All of this displays the struggles the Bucks will have in trying to pursue similar deals as the trade season starts to heat up ahead of the trade deadline on March 25. The buyout market, though, could be where the Bucks fill out their vacant roster spot, just as they had done in the last two seasons.

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Only the front offices in Milwaukee and Detroit truly know what kind of trade package was on the table for the Pistons before they ultimately went with the Knicks’ offer. For the time being, the Bucks will continue to add to their four-game winning streak with some big contests on the road this week.