Grading a compelling mock trade that sees Bucks level up their defense with Nets duo

Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The Milwaukee Bucks’ perspective on this trade with the Brooklyn Nets

From the Bucks' point of view, this trade is perfect in terms of what they can add to their roster. Right now, they have the 22nd-ranked defense in the league, so adding two defensive specialists can not only aid in the regular season but also create a monster defensive lineup in the postseason.

This season, Finney-Smith is having a great year offensively, especially shooting the ball. He is currently averaging 9.9 points per game, the second highest of his career, and is shooting 41.1 from deep, which is the best of his career. The wing also adds on the boards with a solid 4.9 this season in around 29 minutes per game. O'Neale is also having an above-career-average season with 7.5 points per game and shooting 37.1 from three.

What sees the Bucks have a chance with this deal is both Nets players are being used less this season than last season. O'Neale has only started six of 36 games this season compared to 53 starts in 76 games last season. Finney-Smith has started every game he has appeared in since the 2020-21 season. However, the Nets have only started him in 23 of 34 games this season.

Portis has started to feature less and less under Adrian Griffin. For a consistent double-double type player off the bench, he has gone six games without hitting double digits in points, and his 3-point percentage has dropped quite drastically. In his time with the Bucks, his deep-shot percentages have gone from 47.1, 39.3, 37.0 and dropped all the way to 33.7 percent for this season. With Damian Lillard's addition to the roster, the role players are seeing less of the ball, and if they aren't hitting the shots from deep, then it becomes a problem.

Pat Connaughton is yet to start this season and has seen his points per game drop to 5.5 and he is having a below career-average season from three. Beauchamp has seen a slight increase in minutes but his production has remained the same across the board. He is shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three, so there may be something still there that the Bucks see and don't want to make a move too early in his career.

Adding the two second-rounders won't make a huge difference for the Bucks as they look to win now, so sacrificing the next four years to continue building around Giannis Antetokounmpo makes sense. It would only become an issue if the success doesn't come and the Bucks really struggle with making moves due to the lack of assets.

Personally, I do quite like this deal, as it is exactly what the Bucks need to level up the defense. It allows them to run a really strong defensive lineup but also gives Griffin options to throw at opponents with the two wings, along with Giannis and Crowder.