The Milwaukee Bucks used one of their biggest trade chips, Donte DiVincenzo, to land former block-per-game leader Serge Ibaka to help fortify their center rotation, which has been in flux since Brook Lopez's season-ending back injury. The Bucks also received two second-round picks and traded away Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye in the four-team trade.
The Bucks depleted some of their depth to land Ibaka, who should provide just what they need off the bench. Unfortunately, they lost one of their key reserves just hours after the trade deadline.
Pat Connaughton fractured a bone in his hand in the third quarter of the Bucks' loss to the Phoenix Suns. Head coach Mike Budenholzer didn't immediately rule him out for the long term but added that he does not yet know when he will be back.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, on Pat Connaughton's injury:
"We're trying to figure out who will see him next, what the next step is. Unfortunate, but I think we're hopeful that he'll be able to return…when that is, not exactly sure. But we'll see." https://t.co/DIFgaDfsBF
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) February 11, 2022
Connaughton has been playing the best ball of his career this season, averaging a career-best 10.7 points while shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point land. Milwaukee often uses him as a starter when other players are injured. Now, they may be without him for a while.
The Bucks have been better after a mediocre start to the new year, winning eight of their last 10 games prior to the loss to the Suns. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference. Losing Connaughton is survivable but it may force the Bucks to get a little more active in the buyout market. Finding wings that can shoot shouldn't be too hard, especially since they can offer them a legit crack at winning a championship.