Grade the Trade: Bucks add All-Defensive wing in deal with the Raptors

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 19 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 19 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis, Toronto Raptors: O.G. Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr.
TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 04 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks’ perspective on this trade with the Toronto Raptors

The Bucks need help defensively in the wing position as they relied a lot on Jrue Holiday defending bigger guys and despite his elite defensive abilities, the size just became an issue when it mattered.

Anunoby is 6″7 and at 26 years old still has lots of room to grow. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team last season following a league-leading 128 steals. The Bucks’ Brook Lopez and Holiday were named to the first team. Add Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to the lineup, and it could be an all-time defensive team. He also worked with new head coach Adrian Griffin so there will be familiarity there between the two.

Offensively he also provided a lot of value as a 16.8 points per game player last season on 47.6 percent from the field, along with hitting two threes per game on 39 percent from deep. His spacing would be exceptional for the Bucks to allow Giannis to drive, then either Middleton or Holiday to dictate the offense then his ability to catch and shoot would be hugely beneficial to the Bucks.

Looking at the negatives of this deal for the Bucks, two veterans in Allen and Connaughton would be lost along with what feels like a lot of draft capital. The voids left by those two would at least allow one of the younger players to have a bigger role on the bench and see more time on the court. As previously mentioned, Anunoby has a player option for the 2024-25 season worth $19.9m and whether he takes that up or not, it is likely whenever he enters free agency, he will be looking for more.

This would be a lot to give up for a player that may only stay for one season. As an addition to the team, he would be perfect and really put the Bucks on a pedestal. I think this particular deal feels like it would be a lot to give up and with Griffin in charge and adding more youth, the project for the future would be relying on Anunoby guaranteeing he will stay in the long term.