The Milwaukee Bucks' slow start to the season looked to get worse when forward Jae Crowder suffered a groin injury and required surgery. It was reported that he would miss eight weeks following the surgery.
Since the defeat to the Orlando Magic when Crowder got hurt, the Bucks have won five straight and look to be ironing out those early-season struggles. They now have a record of 10-4 in third place in the Eastern Conference, just a game back of the league-leading Boston Celtics.
Young wings Andre Jackson Jr. and A.J. Green have both come up big for the Bucks in Crowder's absence, helping fill the void on defense and outside scoring. Both players have impressed and earned their way into spending more minutes on the court.
Despite these young players stepping up, their is still an element of inconsistecy in their play as they look to develop in their fledgling NBA careers.
With that being said, let's take a look at three potential trade targets for the Bucks in Jae Crowder's absence.
No. 1 - Royce O'Neale
The first trade target is a common name for many teams looking to compete for an NBA title and one that FanSided's Tyler Watts had as a potential target for the Bucks. With Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O'Neale, you know exactly what you're getting. He's an experienced wing who can defend the opposition's best player while hitting the 3-point shot at a good clip.
This season he has featured in all 13 games, averaging 7.7 points and shooting 38 percent from deep. With Khris Middleton still on a minutes restriction, O'Neale can easily slot in at the small forward position and be effective on both ends of the floor without too much being expected of him. Per StatMuse, O'Neale has a defensive rating of 115.4, which is just slightly better than Crowder's 116.9.
Brooklyn of course has undergone huge changes this year with huge stars being traded away and young pieces joining their roster. They currently sit in 10th in the East with a 6-7 record. Many would have had them reaching the play-in at least with the defenders they have on the roster, but the slow start may mean that O'Neale is easier to trade for.
At 30, the wing will be hoping to make a real run for a title and with him having all the attributes the Bucks need, he could definitely fill the void left by Crowder.