2 hyperbolic trades the Bucks need to make right now
The Milwaukee Bucks won a championship last season behind the MVP-level play of their star Giannis Antetokounmpo. After defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, Bucks turned a 2-o deficit around against the Phoenix Suns to win the title. While Giannis did lead, it was great team-play that got Milwaukee to the title ultimately. Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez all put in a great shift, with great support from Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes, to name a few.
However, any team can still improve. Here are two hypothetical trades that can improve the Bucks even more.
Potential Bucks Trades
Jusuf Nurkic to Bucks; Brook Lopez to Blazers
While it is true that Brook Lopez played great for the Bucks, Jusuf Nurkic seems like an improvement over the former Net and Laker. The Bosnian center has been solid for the Trailblazers, but he can play so much better than last season. After he had a great season that was, unfortunately, ended prematurely due to a broken leg suffered versus the Nets, he had a down year where his averages fell to 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds.
However, Nurkic was not always utilized best by former Blazers coach Terry Stotts. When he was traded to the Portland franchise in 2017, in his first few games, he showcased how amazing of a passer he can be. If deployed on the elbows, he can play a high pick-and-roll with every guard and forward on the roster and find cutters when the paint is empty. Additionally, he added somewhat of a three-point shot, so he can be a triple-threat in these positions.
Nurkic can also be a defensive phenom. He has great positional awareness in the paint and although he cannot really follow guards across the perimeter, his presence in the paint can be a deterrent for cutting and slashing guards. If he can improve on his lateral quickness, he could be an All-Defensive center in the future.
Lopez on the other hand would provide Blazers with a lot of shooting and defense in the paint. Additionally, Portland would get some value for an expiring contract in Nurkic, since it is not entirely clear what they want to do with him. Resigning him will take at least $20-25 million per year, money they are not looking to commit for a non-contender team right now. With Lopez, they buy themselves two seasons of time, at least, plus Lopez would likely cost less when resigning.
Seth Curry to Bucks; Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen to 76ers
With this move, the Bucks would get something they sorely need – more shooting. Seth Curry, brother of Stephen Curry, is one of the best shooters in the league and he will be a great addition to the squad. With Giannis starting, Bucks really need to unclog the lane, so the Greek Freak can have a free path to the basket, where he thrives.
Curry averaged an amazing 45% shooting from behind the arc on almost five attempts per game. That is an elite percentage and having a reliable shooter on the wings would do wonders for the Bucks. Additionally, he would bring some playmaking to the team, as the team would have one more player who can handle the ball. It is true that he has the reputation of being a one-dimensional player, but that dimension might be great for Milwaukee.
On the other hand, Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen can provide a ton of depth for the Sixers. Connaughton is a capable playmaker and a great player to come off the bench. He can do everything on the court and if given more opportunities and minutes, he can be an even better contributor, especially to replace Ben Simmons in terms of handling the ball. Allen, on the other hand, needs a new opportunity in the league.
Allen truly needs a franchise that will give him opportunities and with the rotation being fairly thin in Philly, he could have those chances there. He came into the league with a bad reputation, due to some incidents during his Duke tenure, but still managed to get a ton of playing time in Memphis for the last two seasons. He averaged 8.7 points in his first season and that increased to 10.6 in his second season, with extended time on the court. If given a proper shot, Allen can be a truly great contributor off the bench.
The Bucks are champions, but there is still room for improvement. Giving a chance to Nurkic and/or extending their range with Curry would provide the Bucks with a more varied attack. Still, even without these trades, the Bucks still are favorites to retain the league.