Assessing The Athletic’s Larry Nance Jr. trade for the Milwaukee Bucks

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 06 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 06 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers: Larry Nance Jr.
PORTLAND, OREGON – OCTOBER 27 (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The logic in The Athletic’s proposed Larry Nance Jr. trade for Milwaukee Bucks

The motive behind this move would be clear for the Bucks. Starting center Brook Lopez has been out of the lineup nearly all season with back issues, and while there is optimism he may return this year, it is hard to speculate. As the Bucks keep their fingers crossed for a return, Nance would be a solid insurance policy and player that could help this team immediately.

Standing at 6-foot-7, Nance is an incredibly versatile piece that can play practically every position in the frontcourt, which is exactly what the Bucks need right now. Without Lopez for virtually all of the season, the Bucks have relied heavily on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis to eat up a significant portion of the minutes at the center position. Following the controversial release of big man DeMarcus Cousins, Milwaukee’s only size off the bench currently is Sandro Mamukelashvili, a rookie second round pick that does not see much time. Nance would be that much-needed dose of size off the bench to give Antetokounmpo or Portis a much-needed breather.

Due to that versatile presence that Nance brings to the table, lineups that include him would be interesting due to his defensive impact. The forward is a quality defender that can tackle multiple positions at a high level, capable of switching when called upon. Switching was a key part of what the Bucks did throughout last season’s playoffs, and they very well may do it again. In that case, a player like Nance would help tremendously alongside Antetokounmpo, Portis, and the rest of the Bucks in certain situations.

As for the package itself, it is a rather reasonable one. If the Bucks do make a splash before the trade deadline, it will likely include DiVincenzo. The guard is set to be a restricted free agent after the season and the Bucks may want to move him rather than potentially lose him for nothing at that point. Losing Hill could cause some problems as it would leave the Bucks without a backup point guard, but that is something that could be addressed later. Hood scarcely plays when the roster is nearly intact, so moving him would be justifiable.

This move makes sense for the Bucks for a handful of reasons.