Pros and cons of the Milwaukee Bucks pursuing a Jalen Smith trade

Jan 4, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns: Jalen Smith
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 10 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The cons of the Milwaukee Bucks pursuing a Jalen Smith trade

Con #1: Jalen Smith has a limited 3-point shooting ability, which may not bode well for the Milwaukee Bucks

In his time in Milwaukee, Lopez has grown as a 3-point shooter. His abilities in the paint are what they are, but his shooting from beyond the arc made him a key player in Mike Budenholzer’s “Let it fly” system. While the Bucks certainly don’t necessarily need their bigs to be 3-point shooters, it certainly helps. Unfortunately, Smith’s 3-point shooting numbers are not up to par with Lopez.

Again, Smith’s playing time has been limited in Phoenix, so it is tough to take a lot of stock in his shooting from beyond the arc. That said, the numbers don’t do him any favors. Smith has posted a 22 percent 3-point percentage this season. One of the drawbacks to his large wingspan is the ability to shoot from deep. Smith is young, turning 22 years old in just a couple of months, so he has the ability to work on his 3-point shot. However, he will not be able to make an immediate impact from deep. Smith is better suited as a force in the post and won’t be a three-point shooter like fans have come to expect from Milwaukee’s bigs.

While the three-point shot just isn’t there currently, Smith certainly has room to grow and could be a player that flourishes in a system that benefits from shooting threes. If Smith comes to Milwaukee, his development could be something to keep an eye on.

Con #2: Jalen Smith’s size could be a concern for the Milwaukee Bucks

Some of the best bigs from around the league are known for their size. Players such as Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid weigh in at over 250 pounds. Smith is not as big as some of the NBA’s best bigs, and that could be cause for concern.

Weighing in at 215 pounds, Smith would certainly be undersized when matched up against bigs from around the league. Furthermore, his six-foot-ten-inch height makes him undersized in the height department as well. While his reach may compensate for the lack of size, he won’t be able to move through players down low. If Smith is put against players such as Embiid or Jokic, he will be outweighed by nearly 40 pounds. Obviously, Smith could put on weight, but that may take away from his abilities in other areas. While size isn’t the most important thing for an NBA center, it certainly plays a part in their success.

Smith’s size is certainly a concern, but he may still excel down low. He has tools to match up against larger bigs, but he will need to work on craftier ways to finish around the rim.

Con #3: Jalen Smith’s lack of playing time may be cause for concern for the Milwaukee Bucks

Smith was selected in the first round by Phoenix in 2020. The former 10th overall pick was a promising prospect coming out of Maryland but has struggled to find his way onto the floor. Due to his lack of playing time, there may be concern from teams around the league looking to make a trade.

Now, there are plenty of reasons why Smith hasn’t found time on the floor. He has plenty of tools as a big man and lots of promise in his second year. However, the limited time could be a detriment. Obviously, the NBA is very different from college basketball. The game moves faster and there are plenty of vets who know how to use their abilities when going to work against younger and unpolished players. Smith could be an excellent big with the proper development, but his limited time on the court could come at a detriment.

Smith is a young player who has plenty of time to grow and become a more polished player. The tools are there, but his limited time on the court could be a concern.