The 2024 NBA Trade Deadline is less than a month away, and the Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams expected to be active in the eyes of many.
Milwaukee's front office, led by General Manager Jon Horst, have always been aggressive leading up to the deadline, with moves for players such as P.J. Tucker, Jae Crowder, and Serge Ibaka all coming over the past few years. Now, everyone wants to know what the big move will be this year, but there has been very little chatter about the Bucks in the rumor mill.
In years past, Milwaukee's interest in players was widely reported. In 2020, rumors surfaced that they were interested in P.J. Tucker before the season, and those rumors persisted until they finally landed him. The same goes for Jae Crowder, as the Bucks locked in on him before the season and waited to acquire him until the day of the deadline.
The acquisition of Serge Ibaka came out of nowhere in 2022, but the Bucks were heavily featured in the rumor mill before that, with the Bucks reportedly checking in on an assortment of players, such as veteran wing Kentavious Caldwell Pope or versatile forward Grant Williams. It was clear they were going to do something; it was just unclear who they were going to land.
This season, it's been all quiet for the Bucks, and it's genuinely unclear whether or not they will make a move and are currently just keeping it quiet or if they might just stand pat.
Quiet or chaotic? 2 different scenarios for the Bucks at 2024 NBA Trade Deadline
Teams can always improve. For the Bucks, they could use another defender or two to improve their play on that side of the ball, as it's been a major weak point. The big problem for them is that they're pretty limited in terms of assets, especially in terms of draft capital, currently possessing just two second-round picks.
There are a lot of interesting names floating around out there who could help, such as Royce O'Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith, Alex Caruso, Matisse Thybulle, and more. However, the potential roadblock is whether or not Milwaukee has the assets to intrigue those teams enough to part ways with a player.
In the player department, the Bucks have some interesting players who could be packaged in a deal. Veterans such as Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton have fine contracts and can still contribute to a team. Young players like MarJon Beauchamp and AJ Green are on cheap deals and could be of value to teams potentially looking to get younger.
It is interesting that Milwaukee has not been linked to any of those aforementioned players, especially Finney-Smith or O'Neale, who have been heavily mentioned in rumors. They seem like the exact type of players the Bucks would typically pursue relentlessly.
They could be, but if they are, they are keeping it completely under the radar. The Bucks did this with the Damian Lillard trade, with Horst demanding silence from all parties, as reported by The Athletic's Sam Amick (subscription required). However, a big reason for the silence on that front was because it was such a massive move. That's certainly not going to happen with every trade inquiry.
It's also possible that the Bucks are just standing pat. While the roster is not perfect, they have been playing solid basketball lately, particularly with the Big 3 clicking. They will also be getting back forward Jae Crowder very soon, and he should undeniably help them on the defensive end.
Malik Beasley, the team's starting shooting guard, believes this group needs time to grow together and that he feels like the team really doesn't need a trade right now. It's not the most popular stance, but he clearly believes this current group has what it takes to win it all.
Of course, most fans do not share this belief. Everyone wants to see Horst go out and make a splash, despite the limited assets. Horst has worked his magic before despite the asset cabinet being pretty dry, but after the Lillard trade, it has gotten quite bare.
Ultimately, it will be fascinating to see which direction the Bucks go in. There is still plenty of time before the deadline. A rumor could come out tomorrow and render the "quiet" angle of this article useless. However, at the moment, all is silent, and it begs the question whether the team is doing their due diligence quietly or if they truly are just content with the group of guys on the roster right now.
Just like with the Lillard trade, a notification could pop up on phones everyone saying that the Bucks traded for someone out of nowhere at any point in time. At the same time, nothing could happen, and this team could look the same in a month. For now, it's all about the waiting game for everyone.
The next month here will certainly be very interesting.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.