Assessing Bleacher Report’s 3 trade deadline targets for Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 27 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 27 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, New York Knicks: Nerlens Noel
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

With just over two weeks until the 2022 NBA trade deadline, the Milwaukee Bucks have been quiet as a church mouse in the rumor mill. If the defending champs are up to something behind closed doors, they have done an outstanding job of keeping it under wraps.

Given their track record, the Bucks will likely be aggressive at the trade deadline, even if they do not have the richest stash of assets available. Even if they make one move to bolster the bench or add some size down low, it would not be surprising to see them make a trade before Feb. 10.

While there is no shortage of players that would make sense for the Bucks to pursue before the trade deadline, everyone will have differing opinions. For instance, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report handed out three targets that every team in the league should pursue, and his picks for the Bucks were all certainly interesting. With that said, we will break down his picks and assess their fit and the chances of the Bucks legitimately having a shot to acquire them.

Bleacher Reports’ dream trade target for Milwaukee Bucks: Nerlens Noel

Swartz’s dream trade target for the Bucks is Nerlens Noel, and it is obvious to see why. The Bucks have been severely undersized this season as Brook Lopez has missed all but one game with back issues, and his return is uncertain after undergoing a procedure in early December. Adding Noel is a move that would bring some much-needed size into the mix for the defending champs as they await news on Lopez’s rehabilitation.

The fit with Noel is easy to understand. At 6-foot-11, the big man could immediately slide into the backup center role behind Bobby Portis momentarily. Noel could provide a big boost defensively as a backup big, helping the Bucks protect the paint without one of the greatest rim-protectors in the NBA in Lopez. Despite Lopez’s absence for practically the entire season, the Bucks are currently fifth in paint points allowed at 42.7 per game, according to Noel has emerged as an outstanding shot-blocker over the past two seasons by averaging two per game, and defense like that would make him a great fit for the champs.

While the 27-year-old would be a fitting target for Milwaukee, his hefty salary makes it difficult to envision a deal coming to fruition. Noel is on the books for $8.8 million this season with a salary that will increase over the next two seasons. The Bucks would have a tough time piecing together a package that allows them to absorb that salary. That is even if the New York Knicks would be willing to discuss the big man in trade talks, as he has been a key piece for them over these last two seasons.

As Swartz noted, Noel is likely just a dream trade target for the Bucks because it is hard to imagine anything materializes here.