The Charlotte Hornets could be an ideal trade partner for Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

As the Milwaukee Bucks look to retool their roster this offseason, there are several teams across the NBA that could be viewed as interesting trade partners.

One such team is the Charlotte Hornets, who have an abundance of talented players that could be compelling targets for the Bucks. Charlotte currently has two specific players that would be stellar fits in Milwaukee, those being Kelly Oubre Jr. and P.J. Washington. Both of these players should be on general manager Jon Horst’s radar this offseason as they could patch some significant holes on this Milwaukee roster leading up to the 2022-23 NBA season.

Why the Milwaukee Bucks should inquire about trades for both Kelly Oubre Jr. and P.J. Washington this offseason

Starting with Oubre, the Milwaukee Bucks’ lack of depth on the wing was visibly concerning in the playoffs once Khris Middleton went down with an MCL sprain. Adding more wing depth should be a priority for the Bucks this offseason, and someone like Oubre would fit the billing. The guard has been a serviceable rotational player wherever he has gone, and the Bucks should inquire about his availability with the Hornets. The Bucks are already on the record showing interest in signing the 26-year-old as SNY’s Ian Begley reported they were among teams to pursue him in free agency last offseason, so it would make sense for them to still hold some interest in his services now.

On paper, Oubre would be a solid fit with the Bucks. In addition to simply being another body that can add wing depth, he could give the team a much-needed scoring boost off the bench, which is something the Bucks desperately need this offseason. Having averaged 16.2 points per game in his last three seasons, Oubre could be just what the Bucks need to fix their bench production, as they ranked 27th in points per game this past season, per Along with his scoring, Oubre would be another reputable defender to add to the mix in Milwaukee. The 6-foot-7 forward has proven to be a pesky defender since he came into the association, and he would fit like a glove in lineups alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and several other stellar defenders.

To acquire Oubre, the Bucks would have to piece together an offer that allows them to absorb the 26-year-old’s $12.6 million salary for next season. That may seem somewhat steep, but given his fit on this roster and the issues he could resolve, Oubre is a reasonable trade target for the Bucks, if the Hornets are willing to entertain incoming calls. If Charlotte wants to keep Oubre around for the foreseeable future, the Bucks could pivot to Washington, as he could potentially be available on the trade market. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported during the trade deadline this past season that Washington was a trade candidate for the Hornets, and though they kept him, they could possibly take calls on the forward once again this offseason.

Washington checks off a lot of the same boxes that Oubre does. He is a 6-foot-7 forward that can bring some versatility into the mix defensively, while also giving the Bucks a big boost on the other side of the basketball due to his scoring. Over his first three seasons, Washington has averaged an eye-catching 11.8 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from three on 4.4 attempts, which would make him a solid fit on the offensive end. Adding Washington could give the Bucks a scoring spark off the bench, which is something they need, as noted previously. Washington also seems to be the perfect small-ball power forward for the Bucks when they play Giannis Antetokounmpo at the center position. That was something they lacked this past season, and Washington could be a quick fix to the team’s lack of lineup versatility, and his $5.8 million salary for next season makes him an affordable trade target for Milwaukee.

In short, the Hornets have two players that should be viewed as desirable trade targets for the Bucks. Although acquiring both would certainly be a tall task for general manager Jon Horst, the front office should strive to acquire at least one of them this offseason, as they could be exactly what the Milwaukee Bucks need.

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It will be interesting to see how the Milwaukee Bucks go about improving this offseason and whether the Charlotte Hornets could play a part.