Milwaukee Bucks: Could Milwaukee be active on the trade market?

Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks spared no expense as they went all-in to reshape their roster this offseason ahead of another championship run.

Although it is still early, the results have worked in their favor thus far as the Bucks currently occupy the Eastern Conference’s second seed at 16-8 following their 125-112 win over the Denver Nuggets Monday night. After enduring some early growing pains, it seems that Milwaukee has found their rhythm with almost everyone on the roster playing fantastic basketball.

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With this team on a roll, it certainly came as a surprise when the Bucks were mentioned as a team interested in trading for Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons.

Yahoo! Sports’ Vince Goodwill reported the news after Rose had already been traded to the New York Knicks, and although it is unclear just how serious the Bucks were in pursuing the 2010-11 Most Valuable Player, it is compelling to hear of their interest.

Current backup point guard D.J. Augustin, who became eligible to be traded this past Saturday, has not exactly lived up to expectations thus far. Although Rose was already off the market when the team’s reported interest came to light, their rumored interest in Rose showcases that this team is not afraid to shake things up if the opportunity presents itself.

With their name floating around in the rumor mill, the Milwaukee Bucks could look to make some moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

Since their ascension to contention throughout the past several seasons, the Bucks and general manager Jon Horst have been aggressive in pursuing trades.

In December of 2018, the Bucks expressed their desire to bolster the roster as they traded for veteran point guard George Hill. Months later, at the 2019 trade deadline, they furthered this stance after making a surprising move for Nikola Mirotic. Although the latter move did not pan out, it seemed like a great addition at the time and showcased the front office’s willingness to improve by any means.

Of course, Milwaukee’s trade history in recent memory is headlined by the acquisition of Jrue Holiday this offseason. Trading away an astounding three first rounders, two first round pick swaps, along with Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, the front office certainly showed their aggression with the move. With Giannis Antetokounmpo having not inked his supermax extension at the time, making a move for Holiday as a pitch certainly helped make it a far more digestible decision for Horst and company.

Milwaukee could be doing their due diligence on the trade market, but their lack of draft capital in the aftermath of the Holiday trade makes any move harder to come by.

Their most compelling draft assets could be the offering of first round picks swaps in 2021 and 2023. Still, given how many games the Bucks are likely to win during the regular season, those picks will not entice teams with lesser wins, which puts them in a bind. On top of that, they are strapped financially and will have to match salaries in any deal, due to being hard capped.

Player wise, Milwaukee’s most valuable asset that they might consider trading would be Donte DiVincenzo, the promising shooting guard still on his rookie deal. Perhaps they could range Brook Lopez and his $13 million annual salary in any talks, but any traction there would likely be minimal.

With all of those factors added into the equation, any trades will be hard to piece together for Milwaukee. Nothing is impossible, but Horst will have his hands full if he is eyeing any potential trade targets, without question.

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Yet, as seen with their reported interest in Rose, that will not stop them from testing the waters on any potential targets they believe can help this roster.