4. Cameron Payne
The Suns traded a second-round pick to get Payne off their roster in the offseason. He was bought out by the Spurs and signed in Milwaukee. The Bucks needed a backup point guard behind Damian Lillard, and Payne wanted a chance to play for a title contender.
The 6’3 guard’s minutes and production are down this season. He is averaging just 6.1 points and 2.3 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Payne has made over 40 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, but he is unlikely to be part of the team’s playoff rotation.
He struggles mightily on the defensive end, and the Bucks must improve there. They are 19th in defensive rating, despite being fourth on offense. A hallmark of a title team is being in the top ten on both ends of the floor. It will be tough for Milwaukee to get there playing Dame and Payne at the one.
The 29-year-old is on a one-year minimum contract. It is not much matching salary, but the Bucks will likely try to piece two or three smaller deals together to land one more impactful piece before the trade deadline. They would not have second thoughts about throwing Payne in any deal the front office believed would increase their title odds.