Reactions to Milwaukee Bucks being among the favorites for Goran Dragic

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The rumors are coming in fast and furious as we’re only a couple of days out from the deadline and in the Milwaukee Bucks‘ pursuit of trying to upgrade their bench, they’ve been connected to another point guard: Goran Dragic.

According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz (subscription required), the veteran point guard is expected to be bought out by the Toronto Raptors and when that happens, the Bucks (along with the Dallas Mavericks) are expected to be the favorites to land him, should he hit the market.

The Bucks’ attempt to land a guard isn’t new with the recent reports around them in trade talks to acquire Dennis Schroder from the Boston Celtics. But going after Dragic would certainly cost a whole lot less.

Reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks being one of the favorites to land Goran Dragic

Dragic being bought out certainly isn’t a formality. There have been many reports in the last couple of days that the Raptors are working hard to move him and his salary for bench help, with recent reports being that they’re looking into a potential Dragic-for-Danilo Gallinari swap.

That would make the most sense for the Raptors since Dragic has one year left at nearly $19.5 million and they’d like to be able to fill that salary slot with a player who will actually play games for them and not attend Miami Heat home games while he’s away from the team.

If Dragic becomes a free agent, the Raptors wouldn’t get his salary as cap space since they’re already over the cap, so they clearly have the motivation to move him for something.

Dragic, while old, is still a valuable player as a backup point guard. He only played in five games for the Raptors before being told to go home and wait for a trade or buyout, but in the last couple of seasons for the Heat, he showed he can still play.

In 109 regular season games (14 starts) for the Heat between 2019 and 2021, Dragic averaged 14.9 points on 56.4 percent true shooting, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. For a Bucks team that would need bench scoring, Dragic would provide that on better efficiency than Schroder and is a better playmaker.

Neither player is all that great on the defensive end and that’s where the Bucks’ incumbent backup point guard, George Hill, would have the advantage. Schroder is better between the two potential acquisitions, but he’s not Jrue Holiday by any means.

The big risk here is that if you were to deal Hill in a package for a big man that helps open up a roster spot, there’s no guarantee that Dragic gets bought out and then chooses to sign with the Bucks over playing with his friend Luka Doncic and the Mavs.

The early expectation when Dragic was traded to the Raptors was that he would be moved to the Mavs to give them another creator alongside Doncic and Jalen Brunson, but that hasn’t materialized due to his contract.

Dragic is absolutely good enough that he would be worth something in a vacuum, but his large contract is what has been the issue to this point. At 35 years old, Dragic wants to compete for his first championship and there wouldn’t be a much better place to do that than with the defending champs.

There is a scenario where Dragic is traded to a team like the Indiana Pacers as a salary match and they decide to buy him out, but again, that can’t be guaranteed. You don’t want to be at the point where you trade Hill and then are left with trying to go dumpster diving in the buyout market for another Jeff Teague.

Yeah, Hill hasn’t shot the ball well from 3 this season (though he has shot around 35 percent in his last 11 games before a neck injury), but the Bucks win his minutes and that’s really all that matters. I still believe that the Bucks don’t need to acquire a point guard and should focus their attention elsewhere.

Next. Ranking the Milwaukee Bucks trade assets ahead of the deadline. dark

Stay tuned for the latest updates between the Bucks and Dragic.