Milwaukee Bucks: Assessing Donte DiVincenzo’s current trade status

Feb 3, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 3, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports) /

The Milwaukee Bucks could be looking to make a move ahead of the trade deadline, but whether that would include Donte DiVincenzo is a fascinating topic to consider.

In his third season with the Bucks, DiVincenzo has had an up and down year, averaging 10.3 points on .418/.384/.636 shooting splits, 4.7 rebounds, and three assists per game. While several of those are career-highs, the 24-year-old has failed to showcase consistency, hindering a true assessment of his play.

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With the NBA trade deadline set for March 25, the Bucks will have a monumental decision to make whether they believe DiVincenzo can be their starting shooting guard.

Of course, they seemingly already answered that question this offseason when they had agreed to send the guard to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Bogdan Bogdanovic, but that ultimately fell through.

There have been little to no rumblings that the Bucks are actively shopping around DiVincenzo looking for an upgrade, but it would not be surprising if that idea were in the cards. Recently turning 24 years old, the guard is their best young asset, showcasing significant upside as an ascending two-way player.

Would the Milwaukee Bucks consider moving Donte DiVincenzo before the deadline?

The obvious answer is that it depends on what Milwaukee would receive in return.

The Bucks were content with moving Donte in the offseason because they believed they were bringing in a sharpshooting guard that was a perfect fit for this team. It certainly helped that Bogdanovic had a long-lasting friendship with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and bringing him in would have been a good pitch towards the Greek Freak, who had yet to sign his supermax extension with the Bucks at the time.

Circling back to the present, the Bucks have not been chasing after a Bogdan Bogdanovic type player. The most prominent name they have been linked to in trade discussions has been P.J. Tucker from the Houston Rockets. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania ($$), the Rockets are seeking a young player in exchange for Tucker, and DiVincenzo fits the bill in that regard.

Donte DiVincenzo has been viewed as the Milwaukee Bucks’ best trade chip.

However, it would not be wise for the Bucks to flip what has been viewed as their most promising asset in DiVincenzo for a 35-year-old role player that is currently having one of his worst statistical seasons. Instead, it seems feasible to believe that Milwaukee would be open to moving the guard only if they were to get a surefire upgrade in return, and there are not too many of those on the market.

That’s especially true at the cost-controlled value that DiVincenzo brings to the table for the next couple of seasons and will be eligible for a rookie-scale extension this offseason.

Given the limited assets and lack of flexibility the Bucks have in both making a trade and filling their last vacant spot on their roster, how they view DiVincenzo and his development will provide a huge look at their possible plans for the Villanova product. But hard-cap issues the Bucks are dealing with loom as well.

Big backcourt names are starting to emerge on the trade market, some of whom the Bucks have been linked to dating back to the offseason. Whether that’s previous Bucks trade target and Tucker’s teammate Victor Oladipo, or the Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier, just to name a few.

The Bucks’ biggest problem is how to contend for the present, especially against a loaded team like the Brooklyn Nets, without further sacrificing for the future. That’s only been made considerably harder after offloading such a considerable haul of draft picks and agreeing to future pick swaps with the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire Jrue Holiday last offseason.

With all that being said, the Bucks are likely not trading DiVincenzo without getting some meaningful piece in return. The team is left hanging on to very few worthwhile picks, and DiVincenzo stands as the best prospect standing in the Bucks’ depleting internal core.

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Still, if the right situation presents itself to the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the trade deadline, they will surely consider DiVincenzo in any deal. Having done it once before, we’ll just have what’s in store for the Bucks and how they view their promising starting 2-guard.