2022 NBA Trade Deadline Roundtable: What will the Milwaukee Bucks do?

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Donte DiVincenzo, Khris Middleton
MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 21 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The 2022 NBA Trade Deadline is inching closer, and everyone wants to know what might be in store for the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. There has been little to no mention of the Bucks in the rumor mill, leaving fans in the dark regarding what they might be planning. As we wait and see, we rounded together the Behind the Buck Pass crew to discuss all things Bucks and the trade deadline.

If any, what is one area you would like to see the Milwaukee Bucks address at the 2022 NBA trade deadline and why?

Dalton Sell (@sell_dalton): The obvious answer to this one is the center position, and rightfully so. The Bucks have been downright depleted at center this season with Brook Lopez missing time and the team’s decision to release DeMarcus Cousins after a solid 17-game stint. While they should be in the market for more size, another position that should be of interest is the backup point guard. George Hill has failed to live up to expectations throughout his second stint in Milwaukee, and his struggles have been concerning. It seems unlikely that they would be willing to deal the guard for a second time, but if it means getting an upgrade to lead the bench, it is worth considering. Still, a backup center or sturdy forward would help tremendously.

Bradshaw Furlong (@omgbradshaw): There’s been a lot of talk about center or backup point guard being the biggest need for the Bucks, but I think filling that “P.J. Tucker, big wing defender” type would be what I want to see them address most. They have a few quality wing defenders already off their bench (Wesley Matthews, Pat Connaughton) but getting someone who can unlock their Giannis-at-center lineups is at the top of my wishlist.

Jake Weinbach (@JWeinbachNBA): I’d like to see Milwaukee trade for a backup big or a versatile wing that can be effective on both ends of the floor. The Bucks can already feel the missing impact of DeMarcus Cousins, who was waived prior to his guaranteed contract date a few weeks ago, so acquiring someone that can fit that role of an effective big that will bolster the playoff rotation would be an ideal move. Additionally, we still don’t know the extent of Brook Lopez’s injury or when exactly he’ll be back. The Bucks have kept his rehab from back surgery somewhat private, and if he’s unable to come back this season, it makes it even more essential to complete a deal for another trustworthy forward or center. Another option would be a versatile wing that can defend multiple positions and shoot at an efficient rate to give the Bucks more flexible rotation options, especially when they’re switching defensively.

Michael Wood (@wood4_michael): In general, the bench. Any bench help. With Pat Connaughton being in a slump since Covid, the Bucks have no shooting coming off the bench (since Jordan Nwora for some reason does not play.) However, the biggest problem and the one area that has to be addressed: a big man. A power forward or center in order to rebound. With big man Bobby Portis in the starting lineup because of the year long injury to Brook Lopez, the Bucks have no offensive boost off the bench either. The Bucks literally do not have a backup on bench after the release of Demarcus Cousins (a decision I still disagree with).

Jake Maier (@jakejmaier): I think the most important position to fill right now is the center position. With Brook Lopez’s absence, the rim protection has dropped. Lineups with Giannis at the five is effective, but it won’t be sustainable for a considerable amount of time on a game-per-game basis. If the Bucks are able to find a solid center for the time being, they will be able to take a big step forward in their rim protection. An honorable mention would be another guard. George Hill hasn’t been as reliable as fans were hoping this season, so another piece to add depth at guard would be valuable.

Adam Zippan (@azip70): Two areas of need for the Bucks at the trade deadline are a backup center and backup ball handling point guard. With Brook Lopez out until at least March, the Bucks have no real true backup center who can protect the rim. Waiving DeMarcus Cousins from a scoring and rebounding perspective off the bench has really left the Bucks thin at the 5 spot. The Bucks can also use a backup PG, as they need another ball handler for when Holiday and Hill are not on the court. They can’t rely on Middleton and Giannis brining up the ball on such possessions, as sometimes they are prone to turnovers with sloppy, careless and lazy turnovers and passes. Trey Burke comes to mine as he can also provide a scoring punch off the bench, as George Hill is having a down year from a shooting % perspective.

Lucas Valind (@reallucaso345): One area that I would like to see the Bucks address at the deadline is their backup point guard position. While I see that George Hill for some odd reason has ridiculous +/- stats, it doesn’t seem like he actually has done all too much to help the team this season. I currently do not see the team winning a championship if George Hill is the plan to back up Jrue Holiday. Unless they plan on using DiVincenzo at the 1 instead of the 2, there really isn’t an in-house solution, and even that solution sounds like a terrible idea. Even if Horst isn’t able to make a trade for a PG happen, there should be some good options on the buyout market, hopefully better than Jeff Teague from last season.

Tyler Schickert (@tschicket13): I want to see the Bucks address rim protection, the Bucks are missing Brook Lopez. Bobby Portis has taken a step forward defensively but is still not a shot blocker. During the Hawks and both Hornets losses guys like Trae Young and LaMelo Ball were getting easy floaters, the Bucks need a guy to contest those looks.