Reaction to the Milwaukee Bucks attempting to trade for Fred VanVleet

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 04 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 04 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline recently passed, and the Milwaukee Bucks expectedly got a player they had been chasing for months in Jae Crowder.

While Milwaukee got a guy they wanted, they almost reportedly went in another direction entirely. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Bucks made some strong offers over the last few days for Toronto Raptors’ guard Fred VanVleet. The Raptors had been mentioned as a potential seller for weeks leading up to the deadline, but they ultimately decided to keep their core pieces and move forward. Nevertheless, this tidbit on Milwaukee’s interest in VanVleet is beyond interesting.

Reaction to the Milwaukee Bucks attempting to trade for Fred VanVleet

Anyone who says they were not surprised by this news is lying. There was no indication that the Bucks were going big-name hunting leading up to the deadline, and Charania’s reporting suggests that they did more than just check in on the All-Star’s availability. What exactly the Bucks offered will likely never see the light of day, but a deal certainly would have been fascinating. Given that he makes $21.5 million this season, it would have been a major haul of picks and players.

The appeal with VanVleet is easy to see. Over the last four seasons, he has averaged 19.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest. The guard would have given the Bucks another top-notch scorer and facilitator. VanVleet has never been much of an elite defender, but his strong play offensively would have helped this Milwaukee Bucks team out immensely.

If the Bucks have a legitimate interest in VanVleet, they will not be able to act on it this season, but the off-season could be a different story. VanVleet has a player option for next season that he is seemingly bound to decline, which would allow him to hit the free agent market. It seems rather unlikely that the Bucks would have the resources to make a genuine run at him, given their limited financial resources, but who knows? Anything can happen in today’s NBA.

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Milwaukee’s interest in Fred VanVleet may just go down as another “What if?” but it is still beyond interesting to think about it.