Grade the trade: Milwaukee Bucks land lockdown defender in mock deal with Portland

Portland Trail Blazers v Milwaukee Bucks
Portland Trail Blazers v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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With the 2024 NBA trade deadline fast approaching in just a few days, the Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly leaving no stone unturned as they attempt to keep their title hopes alive in the first year of the Damian Lillard era in Milwaukee.

One talking point that’s been brought up ad nauseam about their on-court performance thus far has been their porous perimeter defense. There’s really no way around it: their historically stout top-five defense has been shaky at best throughout most of the 2023-24 regular season thus far, even if their starting five has given fans reason to hope for improvement. Simply put, the most immediate need is wing stoppers.

As it currently stands, the Milwaukee Bucks already got their best offensive player from the Portland Trail Blazers. Maybe this trade deadline will see them get their best defender from that franchise, too. This trade was proposed by Dalton Sell in a recent article for Behind the Buck Pass. In it, the Milwaukee Bucks trade Pat Connaughton, Cameron Payne, and two second-round picks to the Portland Trail Blazers for none other than former Philadelphia 76er Matisse Thybulle.

A mock trade between the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers

Bucks/Blazers Thybulle

The move makes sense on its face: the Bucks' bench has underperformed, and its defense has been shaky. Shedding relative non-performers as of late may be addition by subtraction, while Thybulle’s reputation around the association as an extremely competent ball-stopper is hard to ignore.

Let’s look at how such a trade would affect both sides in this mock proposal.