Milwaukee Bucks: Looking at most valuable assets ahead of trade deadline

Feb 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have lodged themselves into a difficult spot ahead of the NBA trade deadline next month.

After dropping five consecutive games, the Bucks have won their past two tilts and currently sit at third place in the Eastern Conference standings with an 18-13 record. This team has gone through the highs and lows this season, looking the most vulnerable they have in the regular season during the Mike Budenholzer era.

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With their issues on full display, the Bucks could look to make some moves on the trade market to improve their roster. Aside from their reported interest in acquiring P.J. Tucker of the Houston Rockets that has been looming for months, Milwaukee has been quiet on the trade market in the public eye.

However, there could certainly be something going on behind the scenes, although no trade will be easy to come by, given their limited assets.

Although the Milwaukee Bucks have emptied their asset cabinet, that might not stop them from being active ahead of the trade deadline.

Milwaukee sold the farm this offseason when they agreed to ship out a sizeable portion of their draft capital over the next decade in the Jrue Holiday trade. Shipping out three future first round draft picks and the rights to two future pick swaps, the Bucks are left with hardly any future draft compensation to work with in any trades.

While that leaves the front office in a tough spot trying to make upgrades, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports that executives around the league still see some shred of value among Milwaukee’s limited assets:

"“The Bucks need to get their scheme right and upgrade the roster. The problem is they gave up the majority of their assets for Holiday.  Executives around the league view DiVincenzo as the most valuable asset the Bucks have, ahead of first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2023, and five second-round picks through 2027. They don’t have much to offer.”"

The first round pick swaps O’Connor mentioned are certainly not going to be the most compelling for opposing teams, given Milwaukee’s typical regular season stature. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton locked up, along with a massive contract extension offer likely headed Jrue Holiday’s way, the Bucks will remain in contention for the foreseeable future.

Their five second round picks could garner some interest in smaller deals, but Donte DiVincenzo is certainly Milwaukee’s most captivating asset. After initially being traded this offseason in the botched Bogdan Bogdanovic deal, the third-year guard has been great as the team’s starting shooting guard.

DiVincenzo is averaging a career-high 10 points on .420/.388/.609 shooting splits while hauling in 4.5 rebounds and dishing 2.8 assists per game. At 24 years old, DiVincenzo is the second youngest player on Milwaukee’s roster, and he could be a captivating asset for young teams looking for a promising two-way piece in the backcourt.

Furthermore, the guard is still on his rookie contract as he’s on their books for a little over $3 million this season and $4.7 million in 2021-22. That affordability and the fact that he will be extension-eligible starting this summer would be crucial for opposing teams if DiVincenzo’s name came up in any discussions.

As evidenced by their failed trade for Bogdanovic this offseason, the Bucks were willing to move DiVincenzo for the right return, and time will tell if another opportunity presents itself.

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A limited share of assets might not stop the Milwaukee Bucks from looking to improve their roster ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, and it will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.