4 Milwaukee Bucks' trade targets more realistic than Marcus Smart and Alex Caruso

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4 Trade targets more realistic than Alex Caruso: No. 1 - P.J. Tucker

After being sent to the Los Angeles Clippers alongside James Harden six weeks ago, P.J. Tucker is dissatisfied with his position on the squad.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (subscription required) has also most recently reported that Tucker "expressed frustration" to the Clippers about his current role, and the two sides were "discussing ways to resolve" the situation either in Los Angeles or for another club. The Milwaukee Bucks organization itself seems to have taken note of the situation because, according to Marc Stein (subscription required), they “still maintain a healthy level of admiration” for the now 38-year-old forward.

Tucker is known for his exceptional defensive skills. His ability to guard multiple positions, especially against forwards and even some centers, made him a valuable asset on the defensive end in the Bucks' road to a championship in the 2021 NBA season. Tucker's ability to play as a small-ball center or power forward gave the Bucks flexibility in their lineups.

In key playoff moments, the Bucks deployed small-ball lineups with Tucker, allowing them to match up well against opponents and create mismatches on both ends of the floor. This well-documented tenacity of his on that end bodes well for their current system under neophyte head coach Adrian Griffin, which prioritizes a more ball-pressure-heavy brand of defense.

Even for his age, Tucker is also still a reliable 3-point shooter, particularly from the corner. His ability to space the floor and knock down corner threes was crucial for the Bucks' offensive system, which often involves surrounding Giannis with shooters. This added floor spacing opened up driving lanes for Giannis and created more offensive opportunities.

Tucker brought a wealth of playoff and championship experience to the Bucks. His presence and leadership in the locker room were considered valuable, especially during the postseason when the team was pursuing a championship.

Tucker's physical style of play and toughness added a grittiness to the Bucks' roster. In playoff matchups where intensity and physicality are heightened, having a player like Tucker who thrives in those conditions is advantageous. On top of that, he also quickly integrated into the team and developed good chemistry with his teammates during their championship season in 2021. His unselfish play and willingness to do the dirty work, which saw him hustling to grab fifty-fifty balls and take charges, resonated well with the Bucks' team-first culture.

These are just a few names floating around the trade market, and the Bucks may very well go a different route to solve their defensive deficiencies. But as it currently stands, they're certainly at a lower price tag than names like Alex Caruso and Marcus Smart, which the Milwaukee Bucks front office may need to consider given their dearth of assets.

Stay tuned for more analysis on the Milwaukee Bucks as the season chugs on.