NBA Rumors: Bucks expressed interest in young Orlando Magic forward via trade

Orlando Magic v Milwaukee Bucks
Orlando Magic v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

With an aggressive front office led by General Manager Jon Horst, the Milwaukee Bucks are always looking to improve the roster.

They're oftentimes mentioned among contenders checking in on big-name players, and they were in on a few rumors listed in HoopsHype's recent trade candidate breakdown by Michael Scotto.

Per the report, the Bucks were among those who went after Reggie Bullock this past off-season before he signed with the Houston Rockets. Elsewhere, Scotto reported that the Bucks expressed exploratory interest in acquiring Orlando Magic forward Chuma Okeke, the 16th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

NBA Rumors: Bucks expressed interest in young Magic forward via trade

It's unclear when exactly the Bucks checked in on Okeke, but their interest makes sense to a degree. This past off-season, Milwaukee needed to shore up their depth with versatile and lengthy forwards. They did so by retaining Jae Crowder while drafting both Andre Jackson Jr. and Chris Livingston, but perhaps they also looked to acquire Okeke, a 6-foot-6 player who can play either forward position.

Okeke hasn't been able to carve out a role for himself in the four years he's been with the Magic to this point. In fact, in each of the four years he's been with them, his minutes have decreased each season. He's currently averaging just four minutes per game in eight contests this year. Out of the rotation, it wouldn't be surprising if Okeke was available in trades.

The 25-year-old forward would make some sense for Milwaukee as a trade target, mainly due to the fact that the team can never have enough forwards. Their depth has already taken a hit this season due to Jae Crowder undergoing surgery. Crowder is expected to be back, but if they are looking for some insurance, swinging a trade for someone like Okeke would make sense.

If the Bucks were to add Okeke, it would be as a reclamation project. Perhaps the team believes there is something in Okeke worth developing. The forward is making $5.3 million this season, so his deal would not break the bank for the cash-strapped Bucks. It would be a buy-low move to add a former first round selection who hasn't managed to get into a groove in his current situation.

Yet, it would make more sense for the Bucks to go after someone more proven at this time, such as Reggie Bullock, as highlighted above. The team needs help defensively, and adding a proven player in Bullock, who has proven to be a solid 3-and-D wing in the NBA, would make more sense than a project player like Okeke who is more of a mystery.

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