NBA Rumors: Milwaukee Bucks eyeing 2 defensive aces via trade but face uphill climb

Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

There are six days until the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, and the Milwaukee Bucks are in the market for help on the defensive end.

Two new targets they have on their wish list have reportedly been revealed.

Per Yahoo Sports' NBA insider Jake Fischer, the Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams to contact the Memphis Grizzlies about former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. However, Fischer says that Memphis has shut down any inquiries to this point.

Elsewhere, the New York Post's Brian Lewis (subscription required) reported that they are among a handful of teams with interest in Dorian Finney-Smith of the Brooklyn Nets. Other interested teams include the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and more.

NBA Rumors: Milwaukee Bucks eyeing 2 defensive aces via trade but face uphill climb

Both Smart and Finney-Smith are perfect trade targets fans have been eyeing for quite some time.

As the Bucks have seen up close over the past several years, Smart is one of the best in the business on the perimeter defensively, able to take on tough opponents and make life difficult for them. He's an irritant, which this Milwaukee team could use as they attempt to establish some sort of identity on that side of the ball.

Of course, with the Boston Celtics acquiring Jrue Holiday before the season, many also wanted to see Smart in a Bucks jersey for storyline purposes. Cannot blame them there.

With Ja Morant missing the first 25 contests of the season due to a suspension and then having to undergo season-ending surgery for a torn labrum, many hoped the Grizzlies would embrace a sellers mentality ahead of the deadline to try and acquire assets. However, despite their abrupt trade with the Houston Rockets recently, it appears that will not be happening with Marcus Smart.

Smart would have been a dream target for Milwaukee, but it appears they will have to look elsewhere.

Finney-Smith is another reputable name, as the 6-foot-7 versatile forward can defend top names at a high level. He'd be a great addition to this Milwaukee team, giving them the large wing defender they need before the NBA Playoffs. The 30-year-old would be the perfect small-ball power forward for when the Bucks go with their small lineups featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo at the center spot.

Yet, while Finney-Smith could seemingly be had unlike Smart, the asking price seems to be way out of Milwaukee's league. The equivalent of two first-round picks seems to be the rumored asking price for Finney-Smith, and the Bucks, let alone most contenders, cannot afford that. If they come down on the price, it would be much more reasonable, but it's unclear if they will budge.

The Milwaukee Bucks are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to add defense, and rightfully so. Changed are needed soon.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.