The Milwaukee Bucks have been linked to just about every player on the market as they maintain an aggressive mindset ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.
General Manager Jon Horst is exploring all avenues to improve the roster, and new rumors continue flooding in by the hour. A recent report from veteran NBA insider Marc Stein (Subscription required) brought a new target into the limelight, and this one could anger fans due to what is being talked about between the teams involved.
Per Stein, the Bucks and Dallas Mavericks have had exploratory talks about a deal involving a swap of Bobby Portis and Grant Williams. The report mentions that it is unclear if these talks will develop into anything serious, just that they are currently nothing more than exploratory.
New trade rumor involving the Dallas Mavericks could anger some Milwaukee Bucks fans
There is a significant chunk of the Milwaukee Bucks' fanbase that dislikes Grant Williams, which is due to his time with the Boston Celtics. He was always an irritant, playing quality defense but also putting on some theatrics from time to time. Of course, he also had the most important performance of his career against the Bucks in Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, sending Milwaukee home.
The thought of bringing that player to Milwaukee might turn off fans, especially with just what is being discussed in return in Bobby Portis. Though he's having a down year to some degree, Portis has been a fan favorite for this franchise for years, and trading him for Williams, someone who been among the team's top rivals, would have some up in arms.
Leaving emotions out of it, another angle to ponder is whether or not a straight-up Williams for Portis swap is the move Milwaukee needs. Williams would undeniably help this team out defensively, but can he be a big enough upgrade to justify parting with one of the team's best trade assets? It's certainly up for debate and another reason why fans might dislike this idea.
UPDATE: Stein added later that the Bucks are seemingly unwilling to entertain a straight Portis for Williams swap, which is the right move. However, things could change if the deal is expanded to include more players. If a third team could get involved to send Milwaukee more players or assets, this would make a lot more sense for the Bucks.
This isn't the first time the Bucks have been linked to Williams. Back in 2022, the Bucks and Celtics reportedly had discussions about the forward, per Jared Weiss, The Athletic’s Celtics beat writer (subscription required). Of course, nothing got done then, but Williams has been on Milwaukee's radar for quite some time, which could add motivation on Milwaukee's end, as they clearly like him.
Ultimately, a Portis and Williams swap will not solve all of Milwaukee's problems. They need another piece or two, which is why they should try to expand this to a multi-team deal if talks do advance. There are plenty of other eye-catching targets out there who could be of use in a bigger trade.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.