With the 2022 NBA trade deadline on the horizon, the Milwaukee Bucks are bound to survey the market and seek ways to improve their roster. Aside from a report that the defending champions sent scouts to a recent matchup between the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers, there has been no news regarding what the Bucks might be plotting. They have been known to keep all operations behind closed doors for quite some time now, and they could certainly be working on a move behind the scenes before the February 10 deadline. With that said, let us take a look at trade targets they should be eyeing to bolster the roster ahead of their title defense.
Updated Milwaukee Bucks’ trade deadline targets – Nicolas Batum
The Bucks should be looking for pieces to improve their second unit before the trade deadline, and a player that would fit the billing is Nicolas Batum. Due to some unfortunate injuries to several key players on the roster, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer recently reported that the LA Clippers may be willing to deal a good portion of their veteran players before the deadline, which includes Batum. If so, the Bucks should make a run at the 33-year-old.
Milwaukee is already on the record with previous interest in Batum, having talked to him before he signed with the Clippers last season. Given how well he has played for the Clippers over these past two seasons, that interest should still be there. The forward has averaged a solid 8.4 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and a desirable 40.5 percent from three over 93 regular season games in LA. Milwaukee’s bench has struggled to produce points consistently this season, and someone like Batum could provide a requisite amount of scoring and shooting to help.
In addition to his offense, Batum would bring another sturdy defender into the fold. Standing tall at 6-foot-8, 230lbs, the forward can hold his own defensively against opposing forwards, which could be helpful for the Bucks if they run into a player like Kevin Durant or Jimmy Butler down the line in a potential playoff scenario. It never hurts to have too many stellar defenders on the team, particularly when they also provide a solid scoring punch offensively.
Making $3.2 million this season, Batum is an incredibly affordable trade target. Given Milwaukee’s current financial situation and asset shortage, Batum presents an opportunity to add an impactful piece to a bench unit that could truly use it right now without breaking the bank. If LA is willing to move the forward, he would be an excellent pickup for the defending champs.