The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was the front-runner to repeat as league MVP, and the team as a whole looked primed to win the championship.
If the season gets canceled altogether, it would be a bummer for the Bucks since all their hard work will have gone to waste. However, it would provide general manager Jon Horst an opportunity to improve the roster and surround Giannis and All-Star swingman Khris Middleton with more shooters.
Horst made a gamble in 2017 by acquiring Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns. The explosive point guard requested a trade from the Suns, so Milwaukee swooped in and traded for the former Kentucky Wildcat.
Bledsoe has averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 assists during the regular season since coming to the Bucks.
However, he has struggled in the playoffs. Bledsoe is shooting just 42.0 percent from the field and 25.5 percent from 3 in 22 postseason games with the Bucks.
With that being said, Horst and the Bucks are better off trading Bledsoe for more shooting around Antetokounmpo and Middleton since veteran guard George Hill is the better fit and under a team-friendly deal.
Bledsoe is making $15.6 million this season and is scheduled to make $16.9 million in 2020-21. Hill is the better 3-point shooter, which ultimately makes him a better fit over Bledsoe in terms of guys the Bucks want around Giannis, especially considering Bledsoe’s consistent playoff failures.
The more shooters the Bucks can surround Antetokounmpo with, the better. Teams can’t leave Hill open from 3, so Giannis tends to drive to the hole on his side of the floor since he’ll have an easier path getting to the basket.
This season before the hiatus, Bledsoe averaged 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while shooting 48.2 percent overall, 34.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line. Hill, meanwhile, was putting up 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game and shooting 48.0 percent from beyond the arc while making $9.1 million. He is set to make $9.6 million next season.
The Bucks can trade Bledsoe to a team that needs a point guard in exchange for more shooting. Then, Milwaukee can insert Hill into the starting lineup to replace Bledsoe, giving Milwaukee’s starting unit yet another floor spacer alongside Giannis.