Grade the trade: Bucks add lockdown defender in mock deal with Raptors

Trade rumors are heating up across the NBA.
Milwuakee Bucks v Denver Nuggets
Milwuakee Bucks v Denver Nuggets / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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The Bucks' POV on this mock trade

For Milwaukee, the biggest reason to make this deal is the age of Lopez but also the rumblings of the Bucks wanting to play a more versatile defensive scheme, as noted in O'Connor's report.

Since trading Holiday, the Bucks struggled to get the best out of Lopez, who was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in the 2022-23 season. Without a point-of-attack defender, Lopez was out defending on the perimeter more often than the Milwaukee Bucks would have liked.

The addition of Patrick Beverley at the NBA Trade Deadline did see things improve, but Holiday is on another level when it comes to defending multiple positions.

Lopez had a solid season, tallying 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game on shooting splits of .485/.366/.821. He was seeing at least two fewer shot attempts per game due to the addition of Lillard and him being a bigger part of the offense than Holiday was.

With Giannis being able to play the five or Bobby Portis starting, the Bucks would have a hole in the center position, but they may be able to fill that either through the number of big men in this year's draft class or through a veteran pickup in free agency.

Now, adding Brown to the lineup would be brilliant for the Bucks. His ability to defend and guard multiple positions would allow the team not to use Lillard as much as they did early this season in order to guard opposing backcourts. Malik Beasley seems to be on his way out, and Brown is a far greater defender than him, with a career defensive rating of 113.4, per StatMuse.

The rotations of using Brown and Middleton potentially switching between who plays the two and three positions could also open up some more defensive versatility for the Bucks and allow the iso scorers to rest more defensively to open up their offensive games.

Brown is a 33.7 percent shooter from three across his career and would find himself mainly being used as a spot-up shooter in Milwaukee. Brown also has the frame and has shown he is a good screener. This would open up a new dimension of the offense, with him being able to cut or pop and give opponents another facet of the Milwaukee Bucks to worry about.

Lopez has been an ideal center to play next to Giannis with his development as a stretch five, but what is clear with the Milwaukee Bucks is they have to get younger, and that may mean moving on from him.

Giannis at the five keeps a great defensive presence and athleticism. Yet, there are a number of solid centers available as free agents on potentially low contracts to pick up, or the Bucks could look for their long-term five in the draft. Someone like Kyle Filipowski would be a similar mold to Lopez and could develop into a stretch five.

Overall, this trade for the Milwaukee Bucks is very enticing and one that they would likely consider. If it were a straight swap, adding a younger wing with the defensive versatility Brown has would make this a good deal for the Bucks. How they replace Lopez would then be the next step for Milwaukee.

Grade for Bucks: B+