The Milwaukee Bucks are all-in on winning the championship. They traded Jrue Holiday for Damian Lillard in the offseason and just fired their head coach while sitting second in the Eastern Conference. Doc Rivers is in, and the Bucks are rumored to be aggressive in trying to upgrade their roster before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. They should explore every avenue and make a trade if they think it increases their title odds.
It is impossible to know what to believe this time of year, but the Bucks have no interest in trading their top four. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez are Milwaukee’s trusted core. Their title odds rest on their postseason play, but improving their roster behind them should be their top priority. Rivers needs another trusted bench option and better two-way play on the wings.
The Bucks are in the tax, so they must send out matching salaries in any trade. Who will they deal to improve their roster? These five players are the most likely to be on new teams after the final trade deadline buzzer on Thursday afternoon.
5. Andre Jackson Jr.
The 2023 second-round draft pick has struggled to nail down a consistent role this season. The 22-year-old helped UConn win the NCAA championship in 2023, but he is an inconsistent shooter and defender. Jackson Jr. has shown flashes as a rookie, but the Bucks title aspirations are not conducive to giving significant minutes to someone just entering the league.
Milwaukee has just two second-round draft picks available to trade. They went virtually all-in to acquire Dame. Making another move hinges on some franchise wanting their young talent. Jackson Jr. is 6’6 with the potential to be a strong defender featuring some secondary playmaking ability. That could get some team interested.
General manager Jon Horst makes trades at every deadline, but he will have to get creative this year. Andre Jackson Jr. could be the key to that, but the Milwaukee Bucks would prefer to trade other talents before Feb. 8.