The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a disappointing second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, and things haven’t exactly gone smoothly in 2022-23 despite a 27-15 record. The Bucks have been mediocre since a 9-0 start, with Khris Middleton’s ongoing injury problems plaguing them yet again, just like they did against the Celtics in the playoffs.

With Middleton’s continued absence (he should hopefully be back soon), Milwaukee’s roster has been exposed on numerous occasions. This squad lacks one or two wings who can be slotted into the postseason rotation of head coach Mike Budenholzer, similar to how they maximized P.J. Tucker and Torrey Craig in their 2021 championship run. With the NBA Trade Deadline under a month away, the Bucks could really stand to make an upgrade.

Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest trade deadline need: Hefty wings/forwards

The evolution of basketball over the last several years has magnified the importance of versatile and athletic wings because of the spectacular spacing and outside shooting, As the team construction is based on the strengths and style of generational superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the aforementioned spacing and outside shooting are the best ways to bolster a lineup around their best player.

Guys like Joe Ingles and MarJon Beauchamp are wings who have provided a lift of late, but the current wing rotation is not enough to compete with the likes of the Boston Celtics or Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference.

Antetokounmpo will be playing over 40 minutes in the playoffs, so that spot is secured already, but the issues start with the production of Khris Middleton. The expectation for him to contribute on both ends of the floor at a superb level must be toned down a bit, especially when he starts ramping up when he returns to the court.

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Grayson Allen and Wesley Matthews are two other floor spacers who receive a ton of minutes, but the lack of consistency was very evident in the postseason and has also been the case this season. The heavy reliance on the key cogs is unadvisable because the recipe for winning a chip is having a solid 7-8 man rotation that has their roles solidified by April or May.

While Milwaukee’s defense remains as formidable as ever, the offense has been a problem. The Bucks shockingly rank just 26th in offensive rating, per, which is inexcusable even with Middleton and the other injury problems. Giannis is having another huge season, but his efficiency is down as opposing defenses load up on him and he struggles away from the rim. Middleton returning will help, but Milwaukee simply needs more reliable weapons.

There are wing options available on the trade market, with players such as Jae Crowder, Kyle Kuzma, and Bojan Bogdanovic some of the more popular ones. The Bucks have been heavily linked to Crowder, with some rumors even suggesting a deal got close. However, one problem is Milwaukee doesn’t have much in terms of assets to deal assuming no core players will be going out. The Bucks’ next available first-round pick to trade is in 2029, while Allen’s name has also come up in rumors. There are second-round picks to trade as well. Will this type of package be enough to get an upgrade? 

There are other names the Bucks could look at as well, including a sharpshooter like Malik Beasley. Alex Caruso would be an intriguing option as well if the Chicago Bulls make him available, but he wouldn’t help the offensive problems. There will be other shooters out there on the market (Gary Trent Jr.? Doug McDermott? Josh Richardson? Somebody else?), so Milwaukee must be diligent in scouring the trade market for help.

Otherwise, right now it seems the Bucks might not have enough to win another title.