The Milwaukee Bucks' roster lacks exterior defense. It's not a secret. It was the biggest flaw after the Damian Lillard trade, and nothing has changed since, so, it's no surprise that most mock trades focus on how the team could fix this problem before the upcoming NBA trade deadline expires.
The Bucks' defense ranks 19th in the league, according to NBA.com. If the playoffs started today, they would rank 14th out of the 16 teams playing in the postseason. That's not where you want to be when you're contending for a championship. It doesn't even need to be brilliant because of how good the offense has been, but it needs to improve. And that improvement is needed on the backcourt.
Damian Lillard is not a terrible defender, but he's a bit undersized, so he cannot have a big impact on that end. Same with Malik Beasley, who's also not a very tall shooting guard and struggles to consistently stay between the ball and the rim despite some good showings on that matter.
The bench looks more promising on paper, but both Andre Jackson Jr. and MarJon Beauchamp have not been a consistent part of the rotation, so they don't look experienced enough to be the main point of attack in a championship team.
The solution, if there's any, has to come from the trade market. And given the limited assets the team has, it's hard to find a great fit who seems like a realistic target. But Behind the Buck Pass site expert Dalton Sell has proposed a mock trade that we'll break down next.
Grade the trade: Milwaukee Bucks get Davion Mitchell
In this trade, Milwaukee trades MarJon Beauchamp, Cameron Payne, and a second-round pick to the Sacramento Kings, who send Davion Mitchell in return. This way, the Bucks would get a defensive-minded guard who can try to fix their biggest problem without having to lose any key players in the current rotation.
Mitchell was a pretty reputable defender during his college seasons, which is what made the Kings pick him ninth overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. It didn't take long for him to show his NBA potential in the Las Vegas Summer League, where he was named MVP, but after a promising first professional season, he's fallen in the rotation and doesn't seem to fit in the Kings' future. And that's something Milwaukee could take advantage of.
First, let's take a look at how this trade would affect the two teams involved. Then, we'll hand it a letter grade.