The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly interested in making a play for one of the hottest names on the market ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.
According to Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes, Milwaukee has registered interest in Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks, who seems inevitably on the move before the deadline.
This is surprising to an extent. It's a bad eye-catching because of how bare Milwaukee's asset cabinet is following the Damian Lillard trade and how unlikely it is they could outbid other teams. However, the Bucks are known to check in on the big names whenever they become available for trade, even if it is just to kick the tires on what it might cost to get them.
Whether they're legitimately interested in making a play for Murray or just doing their due diligence on one of the top players on the market, the big question is which players may be involved. Here are the three Bucks likeliest to be dangled in trade talks, whether it is a multi-team trade or a straight-up deal with the Hawks.
If the Bucks make a trade for a player with a salary above $10 million, Bobby Portis would likely be the centerpiece of their offering. With an $11.7 million salary for this season, the big man is on a relatively affordable contract for his production, which could entice opposing teams.
In this scenario, it would be interesting to see what would happen with the big man. If a deal between just the Hawks and Bucks went down, the former could either hang onto Portis or deal him for other assets. If a third team is involved, Portis could be flipped there, while that team sends added capital Atlanta's way to sweeten the pot, which would help due to Milwaukee's limited draft assets.
Though he's having a hot and cold season, Portis undeniably still has value. He was a finalist in the Sixth Man of the Year running last year and is still among the top sixth men in the association. Plenty of the teams scouting the market for a backup big man would love to get a double-double machine like Portis on their hands.
Trading Portis, who has cemented himself as an all-time fan favorite, would undeniably sting for the Bucks fanbase. However, similarly to the Damian Lillard trade, where the Bucks gave up Jrue Holiday, if there's an opportunity to make a major splash, the front office has to genuinely make a play for the player involved, especially one like Murray, who could help this team out a ton defensively.