1. Khris Middleton
The Bucks need Middleton to be a serious title contender. They were bringing him along slowly after offseason surgery and keeping him around 20 minutes per game. He played 28.6 minutes against the Celtics before leaving the next game with Achilles soreness. Middleton played over 34 per game in the 2023 playoffs, and the Bucks need to get him there when the games matter most.
If the three-time All-Star cannot stay healthy, the Bucks could explore his trade market. They would be selling low, but this is the second year of the 32-year-old struggling to stay healthy. Middleton may never be an All-Star again.
This would be a bold move that the Milwaukee Bucks are unlikely to make. Their best and safest course of action is giving Khris Middleton time to get right and ramping up his minutes just before the postseason. They have two All-Stars and an elite center. The Bucks need Middleton to be a secondary creator and get buckets. If he can do that in 30-plus minutes per game, the franchise will have a shot to win it all.
Will the Milwaukee Bucks make a trade before the Feb. 8 deadline? Expect the front office to be aggressive in maximizing their championship odds, but finding a deal won’t be easy.