Milwaukee Bucks: Should they reignite interest in Avery Bradley via trade?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have been relatively quiet in the rumor mill in the weeks leading up to the deadline, but that could soon change.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania ($$) released a rumor roundup piece Monday morning detailing the latest whispers on the trade market, with hardly any new reporting involving the Bucks. Charania noted that the team remains engaged with the Houston Rockets in a deal for P.J. Tucker, but nothing appears imminent.

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One thing that Charania reported that could be of interest for the Bucks is that the Miami Heat are garnering interest from opposing contenders on the availability of guard Avery Bradley.

That is particularly interesting because it is a known fact that Milwaukee held some previous interest in the guard during free agency this past offseason. Although he ultimately chose South Beach, perhaps the Bucks are among the teams with current interest.

While the latter statement is purely speculation, it would make sense if the Bucks remain interested in making a move for Bradley ahead of the deadline.

Avery Bradley stands as a justifiable trade target for the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the trade deadline.

After signing a two-year deal worth $11.6 million with Miami this offseason, the second year being a team option, Bradley has had a turbulent season trying to stay on the floor. Battling through a positive COVID-19 test and injuries, the guard has appeared in just 10 games for the Heat this year.

In those games, Bradley has been a solid rotational piece, averaging 8.5 points on .470/.421/.778 shooting splits, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Numbers like that do not exactly leap off the page, but the two-time All-Defensive honoree would make sense for a Milwaukee team that is looking to shore up their efforts on that side of that ball.

The Bucks have long been rumored to be searching for a “defensive specialist” before the trade deadline, which is why they have such a prevalent interest in Tucker. Bradley also has a reputable status on the defensive end, earning praise as one of the best perimeter guards defensively in the association.

Perimeter defense has been a prominent issue for the Bucks in the Mike Budenholzer era. With the team experimenting with new defensive schemes this season trying to patch up that flaw, bringing in a defender like Bradley to pair alongside other top-tier defenders Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday would be an easy fit.

Offensively, the 30-year-old guard could also provide some solid floor spacing for the Bucks. Shooting a career-best 42.1 percent from behind the arc on 3.8 attempts per game, Bradley would be a great complementary piece in this let it fly minded offense.

Bradley would also be a digestible piece for the Bucks to target with their minimal financial flexibility. On the books for $5.6 million this season and a club option worth $5.9 million the following year, the guard would be one of the more financially friendly trade targets for Milwaukee.

Challenges that come along with the Milwaukee Bucks potentially trying to trade for Avery Bradley.

While Charania’s reporting simply indicated that Bradley was receiving interest from opposing teams, it seems reasonable to believe they might not want to trade him to a conference rival. These two teams met in the postseason last year, and they could realistically meet once again this year.

With the line of thinking, the Heat will not want to help their opposition by any means. If they were to entertain trading the guard, it would likely be to a contender in the Western Conference. Once again, that is merely speculation, but it is an understandable mindset from a contending perspective.

However, if the Bucks have the opportunity to pry Bradley away from the Heat in a trade, then they should look to get a deal done. The guard checks several boxes that this team needs, and when healthy, he would be a solid acquisition to this roster.

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Keep an eye on the Bucks as the NBA trade deadline continues inching closer. They are not the best equipped to make any large-scale moves, but a few smaller trades could go a long way as they look to contend and make it out of the East this season.