The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly hunting for a center before the February 10 trade deadline. That is according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, who recently revealed this news, as well as a few rumored targets, in his latest trade intel piece. This news should not be the least bit shocking for anyone that has been closely following the Bucks, given their current issues at the position.
Following Milwaukee’s season-opener, starting center Brook Lopez has been out of the lineup due to back issues, which led to him undergoing a procedure. There is reportedly optimism within the organization that Lopez could be back in the rotation at some point this season, but that is just speculation at this point. While Bobby Portis has done an excellent job of filling in as the starter, the team is incredibly thin at the backup center position right now. It looked like the front office had found a viable option for this problem after signing DeMarcus Cousins in December, but they waived him before his contract would have become guaranteed earlier this month.
The Bucks have struggled without a true backup center since waiving Cousins, and it appears they are looking at their options before the deadline passes. We previously looked at three trades that would help this problem, but based on some recent rumors, there are more targets to pursue. With all that said, let us look at three trade packages to help the Bucks acquire another big man before February 10.
A trade package to help the Milwaukee Bucks acquire Jalen Smith
As Fischer noted in his piece, one player that has been linked to the Bucks amidst these issues in the frontcourt is Jalen Smith. Whether their interest is just on the surface level or potentially even deeper, Smith stands as a compelling trade target for the champs to consider.
Smith came into the NBA in a very odd position. After being drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the big man has scarcely played over the past two seasons. He is averaging just 9.6 minutes per game in 50 career regular season games, and he could desperately use a fresh start on a new team. Given Milwaukee’s current center predicament, they could be an ideal destination to help unlock his potential and give him a legitimate shot.
While it comes in a small sample size, Smith has shown promise in brief spurts throughout these first two seasons. Smith has the tools to be a solid rebounder and interior defender, both of which would help the Bucks right now. At 6-foot-10, the 21-year-old would prove some size down low to help the Bucks navigate through these issues at the position for the time being.
When it comes to piecing together a trade package, Smith is one of the more reasonable targets for the Bucks as he is on an expiring $4.5 million deal. Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, and a second round pick could be enough to get a deal done, depending on how strongly the Suns value their former lottery pick, Considering that they declined his third-year option before the season began, they may look to get something for him rather than let him walk in free agency.
Though he is not the flashiest name, Smith could help the Milwaukee Bucks for the time being.