Grading the Milwaukee Bucks’ trade deadline deal for Serge Ibaka

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

What the Milwaukee Bucks traded away in the Serge Ibaka deal

As part of the four-team deal, the Bucks traded Donte DiVincenzo to the Sacramento Kings while sending Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye to the LA Clippers.

DiVincenzo is obviously the most significant outgoing piece for Milwaukee in this trade, and it was not exactly surprising to see the Bucks move him. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported last week that the Bucks would trade the 25-year-old guard if the return helped them bolster their roster, which is just what this move did. Since returning from injury this season, the guard had struggled to carve out a role for himself in Milwaukee’s logjam of a two-guard rotation, and moving him for a big man, where the Bucks were previously lacking rotational pieces, is a reasonable move.

Although Milwaukee moved their best young asset, they got a much-needed piece in return. It was likely for the best with DiVincenzo set to hit restricted free agency after the season and the Bucks’ limited financial flexibility. Although Scotto noted that the Bucks toyed with the idea of re-signing him in the offseason, this trade makes much more sense. DiVincenzo will get a fresh start with a new-look Sacramento team rather than fighting for minutes in Milwaukee.

As for the other two pieces, they were simply throw-ins. Hood and Ojeleye both came aboard in free agency this past offseason, and neither player managed to find their feet. After being staples in the rotation to begin the year, both had fallen out of favor and found themselves glued to the sidelines recently. Not only did the Bucks manage to move them to help acquire a piece like Ibaka, but they also opened up a pair of roster spots by moving them. Only time will tell how the Bucks plan to utilize those, but general manager Jon Horst always has a plan.

All in all, the outgoing assets in this deal are beyond justifiable for Milwaukee, given their roster issues at the center position now.