The 2024 NBA Trade Deadline is still months away, but Milwaukee Bucks fans have been hard at work trying to put together defensive-minded trade packages to improve the team's championship odds.
As Bucks fans always tend to do, they've been dreaming big, conjuring ideas for recognizable players such as former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, Alex Caruso, and Dorian Finney-Smith. Though it would be great to get any of those defensive aces, Milwaukee's asset stash just simply may be too bare at this point in time.
If they are indeed hunting for more defense, one target who may be more realistic comes from the rivaling Chicago Bulls, and his name is Torrey Craig.
An underrated trade target the Milwaukee Bucks should keep tabs on
A well-traveled NBA veteran, Craig has always served as a credible 3-and-D wing wherever he's laced them up. He's extremely versatile, as the 6-foot-7 veteran can play either forward position and defend a handful of different positions. Offensively, he'll score around six points per contest while providing solid 3-point shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks could undeniably use another player like that.
Craig checks off a lot of the same boxes as Jae Crowder, who is currently sidelined after undergoing a procedure several weeks ago. Craig and Crowder could be a tremendous duo off the bench, giving the Bucks two experienced defenders who are not afraid to take on the difficult assignments nightly.
Of course, the Bucks are familiar with Craig, as he briefly played for them during the 2020-21 season before being traded. It was a weird stint for Craig, who suffered an injury early on and then never got into the rotation consistently. With a new coaching regime in town, things would be different this time around, especially with how pressing Milwaukee's need for more defense is.
The Bucks should keep tabs on Craig as rumors swirl about the Chicago Bulls potentially undergoing changes leading up to the deadline. While the bidding wars would primarily revolve around players of Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso's caliber, Craig could be a quality get for a contender, especially one like the Milwaukee Bucks, with very few assets to offer.
Craig's NBA contract is only more incentive for Milwaukee to go after him, as he's on the books for $2.5 million this season. That's extremely reasonable, even for a team strapped for cash and assets like the Bucks. If the Bucks sent out a minimum contract and a second round pick, it would be the definition of a low-risk, high reward move to give them some immediate help defensively.
To be clear, the Chicago Bulls have not indicated that they are heading toward a fire sale this season, as everything is just rumored. Yet, if they start unloading players in the coming months, Milwaukee's front office should make calls. Craig isn't the most star-studded potential trade target, but that does not mean he cannot help this Milwaukee team out.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.