Assessing The Athletic’s Robert Covington trade for Milwaukee Bucks

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 04 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 04 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers: Robert Covington
PORTLAND, OREGON – JANUARY 05 (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /

The logic behind The Athletic’s Robert Covington trade for Milwaukee Bucks

This trade makes sense for Milwaukee for a handful of reasons. Among them is their desire to add more defensive personnel before the deadline, and there are few players better than Covington on the trade market. The two-time All-Defensive honoree could be the “P.J. Tucker replacement” that the Bucks have been looking for, although Wesley Matthews may have already taken that mantle with his strong play this season. Still, it would not hurt to add another robust defender that could come off the bench and guard the toughest assignments nightly. In fact, it would help mightly.

Like Tucker last season, someone like Covington could be a difference-maker in the postseason for the Bucks. If the defending champs run into the Brooklyn Nets or Miami Heat again, Covington is a player that could defend Kevin Durant or Jimmy Butler at a high level throughout the game, which would alleviate pressure off of Milwaukee’s other top defenders. Imagine a postseason lineup of Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews, Khris Middleton, Robert Covington, and Giannis Antetokounmpo out on the floor defensively. That would be outright nightmarish for opposing offenses.

The trade package itself also makes sense for the Bucks. It appears likely that DiVincenzo will not be back next season as he braces for restricted free agency after the season. He is arguably their best asset leading up to the deadline, and if they could get something valuable for him before the offseason, particularly with him struggling this season, they should. Hill has also struggled to find his footing with the Bucks this season, and his salary could be useful in bigger trades such as this one. As for Hood and Ojeleye, both have struggled this year and will not be in the regular rotation when the Bucks are healthy. By trading these four, the Bucks could get one impact player to help in their quest to repeat as champions.