Milwaukee Bucks: 3 trade suitors to watch for ahead of the trade deadline

Jan 10, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA (Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 10, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA (Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 02: (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

At 22-14 at the All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks stand at an interesting position nearly two weeks out to this year’s trade deadline.

For starters, they’ve weathered the storm of being without Jrue Holiday as he was sidelined with COVID-19 and won six of their last seven games. Even so, they’re still seeking lasting consistency and are pacing themselves to be right at the right time while looking to fill out their roster.

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However, the Bucks’ hands are tied on that latter note. Due to being over the luxury and hard-capped, Milwaukee is $441,539 under the hard cap, all of which restricts their flexibility to potentially make a deal or fill out their remaining roster spot until April 8.

And with little assets to part with, the Bucks are limited to very few players and salaries they may or may not be willing to improve their roster. Despite those hardships, that hasn’t stopped from the Bucks to being linked to popular trade targets as we inch closer to the deadline.

So without further ado, let’s look at a few interesting trade suitors that the Milwaukee Bucks have and could eventually be linked to as the trade market develops.

First trade suitor for Milwaukee Bucks to watch for — Houston Rockets

Let’s get the obvious spot out of the way as there’s been plenty of buzz about the Bucks and the Houston Rockets.

The target of interest from the Bucks and has been for some time now has been veteran forward P.J. Tucker, who is on an expiring $7.96 million salary and will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Tucker’s impact this season in Houston has been diminished as they have pivoted into a rebuilding team following the blockbuster departure of James Harden earlier this year.

The only problem facing the Bucks and their affinity for Tucker is the steep competition they face from fellow contenders for his services. Jake Fischer recently noted for Bleacher Report that the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets have all inquired about Tucker’s services, along with the Bucks.

Fischer also recently noted that the Rockets’ asking price on Tucker has been inconsistent over this process, some of which has to have been affected by the 35-year-old’s limited productivity.

There’s no question that Tucker would fill the defensive specialist role that the Bucks are reportedly seeking this season, whether before the deadline or on the buyout market. Yet Tucker comes at such a premium, given the demand he’s commanding on the trade market, and the asset-strapped Bucks have a hard time making it worth the Rockets’ while, along with matching salaries due to being hard-capped.

As my fellow co-site expert Dalton Sell recently noted in his five realistic trade targets piece, Rockets wing Danuel House could be one worth pursuing, especially as there has been buzz that he could be moved ahead of the deadline. While only averaging 9.1 points on 31.2 percent shooting from three, House’s $3.7 million salary is more digestible from a Bucks perspective. House also gives Milwaukee the positional versatility they need on the wing.

Standing as one of the few defined sellers this trade season due to being so out of the picture in West, all eyes will be on Houston’s motives over the following couple of weeks.