Reviewing Bleacher Report’s horrible trade idea for the Milwaukee Bucks

Jan 1, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Bleacher Report makes a lot of trade suggestions, often making articles about a trade every team should make, could make, or a big splash trade. Their latest trade suggestion for the Milwaukee Bucks may just be their worst suggestion yet.

In their latest post, “Realistic Trade Packages for Every NBA Team’s Worst Contract,” B/R suggested the Milwaukee Bucks make a trade with the Chicago Bulls. The trade:

Before even digging into the fact that this is a disgustingly lopsided trade suggestion, I would like to call attention to the fact that earlier in the article, the author lists Zach LaVine as the Chicago Bulls’ worst contract. So the suggestion for the Milwaukee Bucks is to trade their worst contract (Khris Middleton) and a pile of assets to the Bulls for their worst contract? This suggestion is off to a terrible start.

Reviewing the latest horrible Bleacher Report trade suggestion for the Milwaukee Bucks: Why in the world would the Bucks do this?

First of all, if the rumors are true that the Milwaukee Bucks weren’t willing to include MarJon Beauchamp in a deal for Bradley Beal, why would they be willing to do it for Zach LaVine? LaVine is 28 years old, so it’s not like he’s significantly younger than Beal or even Khris Middleton.

On Khris Middleton, Bucks fans have spent a lot of time worrying about his health, LaVine doesn’t have a clean bill of health in his past either. Over the past four seasons, he has played just 33 more games than Middleton, and Middleton had two injuries in 2022-23 that held him to just 33 games played last year.

Even if you ignore the fact that Middleton and LaVine have both had injury concerns in their past, even with LaVine having potentially put his behind him by playing 77 games last season, there is still the matter of what else the Milwaukee Bucks give up in this “realistic” trade.

Does Zach LaVine represent a big enough upgrade and youth movement from Khris Middleton for the Milwaukee Bucks to give up another starter in Grayson Allen, a player who could be the first man off the bench for Adrian Griffin in MarJon Beauchamp AND a first round pick? Absolutely not.

Middleton and Lavine overall have pretty similar career stats, points, rebounds, assists and even their shooting percentages are all very comparable. Middleton holds a slight edge in free throw percentage and rebounding, while Lavine averages a few more points per 36 minutes. Per 100 possessions, Middleton has a better offensive and defensive rating than LaVine. Zach LaVine is also two inches shorter than Middleton, which limits his defensive matchup ability.

What makes LaVine attractive as a potential trade piece is his microwave scoring ability but have we already forgotten what Khris Middleton did during the Milwaukee Bucks title run in 2021?

The point is, Zach LaVine does not resemble a big upgrade from Middleton, they are in the same tier of players in the NBA even being four years younger.

If you believe the perceived youth of Zach LaVine is worth trading Middleton and more, why not just keep Middleton and develop MarJon Beauchamp? MarJon is oozing potential on both ends of the court and recently dropped 83 points in a Pro-Am game, showing off that offensive potential.

MarJon will have just turned 23 years old when the Milwaukee Bucks’ season begins in October. There lies a bigger gap in age between LaVine and Beauchamp than between Middleton and Lavine. And that is STILL not all the Milwaukee Bucks are giving up in this supposedly “realistic” deal.

The Milwaukee Bucks are also expected to give up their starting shooting guard Grayson Allen, who averaged 10 points a game and shot just a tick under 40 percent from the 3-point line last year. Allen is another player who is also younger than Zach LaVine. Allen, at 90.5 percent, is also one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ best, if not the best free throw shooters on the team. And STILL not all for this trade suggestion.

The Milwaukee Bucks are also expected to gift the Chicago Bulls their only tradeable first round pick in this deal. Given that the Bucks are already giving up three players that could all start for the Bulls, why are the Bucks also giving the Bulls a first round pick?

If the Bucks were willing to make a trade package of this magnitude, the return they get could be much bigger than just Zach LaVine by himself. Bleacher Report has outdone itself with this terrible trade suggestion and then put the tag “realistic” on it as the cherry on top of the ugliest trade suggestion they’ve baked in recent memory.

Next. Grade The Trade: Bucks add 2 former All-Stars in deal with Timberwolves. dark

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.