The Milwaukee Bucks went all-in on winning the championship in 2024 by trading Jrue Holiday for Damian Lillard. Fans have seen some heroic performances from Dame to start the season, but the Bucks record is a bit fluky. They are sixth in the Eastern Conference in point differential and 11th in points allowed per game, despite being third in the standings.
Milwaukee may need to make a trade to become true title contenders. They do not have much to offer. The Bucks are down to just two second-round draft picks and a couple of secondary first-round pick swaps, but that may be enough to land the piece that puts them over the top.
The Bucks will explore every avenue, but who could leave Milwaukee? Here is a look at which players are expendable and who the franchise cannot afford to lose.
Expendable: Pat Connaughton
The Bucks would have to match salary in any trade. If they are unwilling to trade any of their core four, Milwaukee only has two other players making more than $2.6 million. Connaughton is their sixth highest-paid player this season but has not played well so far. He is averaging just 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 23.1 minutes per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 33.9 percent on his 3-point attempts.
The Bucks want floor spacers and defenders around their stars. Connaughton is shooting under 34 percent from long range for the second straight year and is struggling on the defensive end. He is just starting a three-year $28.2 million contract, so his market will be limited. Still, the Bucks could explore it in hopes of finding a better fit for their current roster.
Pat Connaughton is not the only player Milwaukee may look to trade, but they cannot afford to let this recently acquired wing go.