Milwaukee Bucks: 3 questions going into trade deadline day

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 22: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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Have the Milwaukee Bucks turned their full attention to the buyout market?

While the Bucks have kept their irons in the fire in regards to the trade front, it seems far more likely they stand as players on the emerging buyout market, just as Lowe suggested.

Lowe even relayed a target that the Bucks have their eye on should he get bought out, that being veteran guard Austin Rivers. Rivers has been phased out of the Knicks’ rotation since the arrival of Derrick Rose last month and is even away from the team at the moment as SNY’s Ian Begley recently wrote Rivers is likely to be moved at or after the trade deadline:

"“One transaction to monitor? A potential Austin Rivers move. If you listened to Rivers’ press conference a few weeks ago, he sounded like a player who expected to get traded. Even with all of the Knicks’ injury issues, Rivers has only played a total of 5:58 since the Rose trade. (He’s been inactive since the All-Star break due to paternity leave). ESPN reported Monday that Rivers will likely be traded before the deadline or bought out by New York. SNY can confirm that a trade or buyout for Rivers is under consideration.”"

While Rivers stands as an average backup guard, the three-year, $9.97 million contract he signed with New York is non-guaranteed for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, which could be attractive to a contender.

Elsewhere, the Bucks have also been linked to free agent guard Isaiah Thomas, which in itself doesn’t qualify as a buyout signing, per se. However, are the Bucks willing to make a decent gamble in helping Thomas as he continues to try an reclaim his NBA career?

Considering the Bucks have been active on the buyout market under Horst over the last couple of seasons, it’s safe to assume that will carry over into this year, especially as they have a decent role to offer to anyone who is willing to join a contender.