Assessing the Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest needs before 2022 trade deadline

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 22 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 22 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: DeMarcus Cousins
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks need to get their center situation sorted out before the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline

With Lopez currently sidelined, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the center position and how it might look for the remainder of the season. Some think this predicament should make the team eager to add more size by trading for another big man before the deadline. Although that might not be a downright wrongful idea, it would also make sense if the champions opted to stand pat with the personnel they have in place.

The one-two punch of Portis and Cousins has been fantastic for the Bucks this season. Portis has taken full advantage of the starting opportunity as he is averaging 15.4 points and nine rebounds per game, both of which are career-highs. Cousins has followed suit by playing solid basketball off the bench, currently averaging 8.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per game. Given that Cousins has played for the Bucks on a non-guaranteed deal, the general consensus is that they should guarantee his deal before the upcoming deadline.

Even Milwaukee’s third-string center, rookie two-way player Sandro Mamukelashvili, has shown brief glimpses of potential during his limited action this season. Although he will not get many minutes for the Bucks, the appeal is there front and center.

The biggest reason why the Bucks do not need to turn over every stone for another center is due to the reported optimism for Lopez’s return. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm (subscription required) previously noted that there is hope within the organization that Lopez could return to the Bucks at some point this year after his back surgery. That would likely be somewhere around playoff time, which would be a tremendous boost for Milwaukee’s title chances. Integrating Lopez back into the lineup would send Portis to the bench and make the need for a third center minimal, aside from having the depth.

Ultimately, it might hinge on what the Bucks decide to do with Cousins. If they guarantee his deal before Friday, they almost certainly will not bring in another center. If they decide to let him go, it would make sense for them to look around for potential targets. However, they should just keep Cousins aboard for the remainder of the season. It seems inevitable that they will guarantee that contract, but only time will truly tell what the Milwaukee Bucks have in mind.

Next. Assessing Bleacher Report’s Brook Lopez trade for Milwaukee Bucks. dark

Stay tuned for any trades or updates regarding the Milwaukee Bucks before February 15.