With 54 percent voting ‘no’ and 46 percent voting ‘yes’ in a recent poll, Milwaukee Bucks fans are divided when asked if the team will make a trade this off-season.
It would make sense if they did make a trade, as they currently don’t have a backup point guard to play behind Jrue Holiday. Despite Jon Horst telling The Athletic’s Eric Nehm (subscription required) that he feels like the team is at peace with where they are at roster-wise, a trade could still come to fruition if the right target becomes available. That right target could very well be employed by a Central Division rival in the Indiana Pacers. His name is T.J. McConnell.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ ideal trade target could be in their division
There have been rumblings about the Phoenix Suns currently pursuing McConnell, as reported by veteran NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required). Although that doesn’t mean that Indiana is actively looking to move him, some discussions could be going on there. If that is indeed the case, the Milwaukee Bucks must insert themselves into the conversation immediately.
The obvious reason why the Bucks should go after McConnell has already been answered, which is because they need a backup point guard. McConnell has been incredibly solid in that regard during the course of his eight-year career, and he’s coming off an excellent year where he averaged a new career-high 8.7 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. At 31 years old, McConnell still has no shortage of good basketball left to be played and could be a tremendous backup for many teams.
McConnell would fit right in with the Bucks. He’d give their bench unit a steady ball-handler who is capable of making plays for others while also scoring himself. He’s never been much of an outside shooter, but in this new era of Bucks basketball, it seems like the team might not be as reliant on players’ outside shooting. If McConnell can bring facilitating and scrappy defense, he could be the missing piece to this roster right now.
Getting a pure point guard would benefit Milwaukee mightily when they want to go to their two point guard lineups. While he’s coming off an excellent season, there are times when Jrue Holiday would benefit from playing two-guard and letting another guard handle the offense, mainly when he has a tough assignment defensively. Having McConnell would free Holiday up and allow him to focus more on the task at hand defensively.
With an $8.7 million salary for 2023-24, McConnell is within Milwaukee’s range financially, which should make him even more desirable. Talks can only get off the ground if the Pacers are willing to entertain them, but the Bucks should do their due diligence.
For now, it appears the Bucks have their eye on a young combo guard still looking for a new team above all else.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis, news, and NBA rumors this off-season.