Quick Bucks: Let’s (not) Make a Deal

With three weeks to go before the NBA’s trade deadline, the Bucks don’t need to make a deal. Plus, rounding up the rest of the week.

With just three weeks to the trade deadline, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the possible trades the Bucks could make in the next few weeks. So, I started playing around with the trade machine to find some interesting deals, but each time I set one up I found myself asking one question.

Why would the Bucks do that?

This may seem silly, as a team should always be looking to improve better itself for the future, but at this point, the Bucks don’t really have many great avenues to go down.

At the start of the season, it seemed like the roster was full of expendable assets that could be used to bring in some intriguing new talent for the future. There was talk about trades for Larry Sanders or John Henson or Brandon Knight or O.J. Mayo or Jared Dudley or Zaza Pachulia, but then Jabari Parker got hurt.

Then, Larry Sanders started to miss some games and John Henson started to play really well.

And then Brandon Knight kept up his impressive early season play.

Now, it seems like making a trade might be somewhat difficult.

Early in the season, it seemed logical to let Sanders get back to business and find a way to either trade him, or keep him and move John Henson. But, with Sanders’s future in Milwaukee now in question, moving Henson would seem like a foolish use of assets.

Brandon Knight has improved again this season and now seems like a player you may really want to have as a restricted free agent this summer rather than an asset you may have been able to flip for something better.

Now, it still makes sense to kick the tires on some of the veterans on this squad, but there aren’t many teams in the playoff race that have the flexibility and/or young talent to make a move. There are plenty of teams that could use help on the wing or depth in the post, but almost all playoff teams have stretched their payroll as far as possible.

It probably seems quite boring and likely a little disappointing, but a quick look at the Bucks roster suggests a quiet trade deadline in Milwaukee.

What to Read

Brandon Knight isn’t an All-Star, but he might just be Milwaukee’s point guard of the future – Bucksketball’s Jeremy Schmidt takes a closer look at Brandon Knight’s season and decides that though Knight may not be worthy of an All-Star appearance, his improvement this year should be quite encouraging for Bucks fans.

Synergy Insight: What advanced play-by-play data says about the Milwaukee Bucks – Let’s get nerdy! Frank Madden of Brew Hoop breaks down very specific data to give us some surprising insights about this Bucks team.  My favorite: Khris Middleton’s defensive RPM numbers!

MMAC leaders expect Gov. Walker’s leadership will sway conservatives on arena plan – On Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan for $220 million in state financing for the Bucks new arena project and many assumed the arena would now be a done deal. Rick Kirchen at the Milwaukee Business Journal was quick to remind folks that this still has to go through state legislators before becoming official.

Clip of the Week

Brandon to Giannis. Beautiful basketball.

A video posted by Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) on

1.       That is a fast break. The only time the ball touches the ground was on the bounce pass to Giannis to finish the sequence.

2.       Passes like that from Knight leave everyone wanting more from him.  The floor vision, awareness, and ability to throw that pass should translate into more playmaking for his teammates, but we just don’t see it very often from Knight.

Week in Review

Thursday – Despite multiple chances to tie the game in the final minute, the Bucks just couldn’t get a shot to fall and lost to the Utah Jazz 101-99.

Saturday – Though this game might only be remembered for Brandon Jennings’s unfortunate injury, the Bucks had led by as many as 30 points in the third quarter before the injury. O.J. Mayo scored 20 points off the bench in the Bucks 101-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Sunday – A back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs is no one’s idea of a fun Sunday evening, but the Bucks almost made the best of it before falling 101-95.

Tuesday – Seven Bucks scored in double digits and the Bucks beat the Miami Heat 109-102 with Jerryd Bayless scoring 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Next Week’s Preview

Thursday – The Bucks will catch the Orlando Magic in the midst of a rough two-streak and will have the chance to give the Magic their seventh straight loss.

Saturday – Following games in Cleveland and Atlanta, the Portland Trail Blazers will play their third straight road game against an Eastern Conference playoff team when they visit Milwaukee. The Bucks’ lost 104-97 to the Blazers in their first meeting this season Dec. 17.

Monday – The Bucks will travel to the North (actually, almost directly East) for their third chance at the Toronto Raptors this season after losing to them in their two previous meetings. After struggling for a few weeks, the Raptors have won four straight games.

Wednesday – At the beginning of the season, many would have looked forward to seeing the Los Angeles Lakers in Milwaukee as it would have been one of Kobe Bryant’s final appearances in Milwaukee.  Now, with Bryant’s recent injury, they’ll just see one of the league’s worst teams.

Stats of the Week

40 – Giannis Antetokounmpo played 40 minutes in the Bucks victory over Miami on Tuesday.  It is just the fourth time Giannis has played 40 or more minutes in a NBA game. (via Basketball Reference)

2.4 – Only 12 teams in the league have a bench with a positive plus/minus on the season. The Bucks’ bench is one of those teams with the second-highest per-game plus minus at 2.4 points per game. (via NBA Stats)

27.8 – Looking at the Bucks Four Factors analysis is fascinating as they are quite good in some aspects and quite bad in others. For example, their opponents’ offensive rebound percentage is currently 27.8 percent, the league’s fourth highest percentage. (via NBA Stats)

Quick Bucks is Milwaukee Magazine‘s weekly roundup of all things Milwaukee Bucks written by Eric Nehm. You can yell at Eric or calmly explain to him why he shouldn’t demand for Giannis to be traded if he pulls out a piece of tape during the dunk contest on Twitter @eric_nehm.