Key Pieces Missing from NBA Playoff Contenders in the East: BUCKS
By David Walton
The key concept behind this article series is to take teams in the NBA Eastern/Western conference that I believe have a good chance at competing in their conference and give my opinion of players I feel will fit perfectly into the teams structure. The players I recommend will fit into three trade categories: teams wont have to give up much to obtain this player, teams will have to give up a decent amount of assets to obtain this player, and teams will have to give up a lot to obtain this player. It is important to note that the players that teams wont have to give up much to obtain may not be better than the starters they have now. These players can pan out to have better careers in the future if used to their full potential.
First up ……
We all know that the Milwaukee bucks have been dry at the center position. With recent draft pick Thon Maker developing this leaves a hole in the starting center position for the Bucks that is currently being held by John Henson. Henson as a starter is currently averaging 8pts, 6rbs, and 1.4 blocks a game. Don’t get me wrong, John Henson has been doing a good job but as the numbers show he’s not a great rebounder and is not what I consider a key to the Bucks going all the way in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee likes to run and score in transition so one big that I feel will fit the team without giving up much is Lucas Nogueira of the Toronto Raptors.
Lucas fits the mold for the type of player the Bucks would go after because he is freakishly long with an 8ft wingspan and athletic. Lucas has also shown he can be an effective Pick and Roll player, which would work well with Eric Bledsoe or Giannis driving to the basket. Lucas has a ton of energy and has the ability to run the floor which will work well for those transition baskets the Bucks love to gun for. He also does not shy away from getting in the middle and battling for rebounds. Since the Bucks wont have to give up much to obtain Lucas they will be able to keep John Henson around until his replacement arrives. Maybe the Bucks will get lucky enough to have Bruno Caboclo thrown in the deal and we can see if Coach Kidd can work the same magic he worked on Giannis in hopes to revitalize the lanky forwards career.
The Bucks will have to give up a few assets to obtain DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers. We have heard rumors circling how the Clippers are willing to part ways with the defensive minded big man. If they do choose to do so then Milwaukee should throw their name in the hat to pursue Jordan. DeAndre is another player that fits Milwaukee’s ideal player with his size and length. He is averaging 11pts, 15rbs, and 1 block as a starter for the Clippers. Those numbers are vastly better than the Bucks current starter John Henson (8pts, 6rbs, and 1.4 blocks). Jordan is a throw back player that plays defense and grabs rebounds, which is something definitely needed by the Bucks. With Jordan lurking around in the paint to capitalize off of lobs or put back dunks this is a match made in heaven for the Bucks. Also with Jordan’s defensive prowess a blocked shot can lead to a fast break play by Giannis or Bledsoe which can easily be turned into an easy lob for a trailing Jordan.
I had a hard time selecting one player the Bucks would have to give up a lot of assets to obtain, so I decided to choose two. That makes these two selections basically impossible to happen but fun to think about. The first player I believe fits the Bucks perfectly is Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets.
I know you are probably catching on to the trend I have going on with the Bucks (freakishly athletic and a ridiculous wingspan) but these are the types of players the Bucks look for. Clint Capela checks out on each of those categories. Since showing his worth the year before Dwight Howard’s departure from the Rockets, Milwaukee would have to give up a lot to get their hands on Capela. He is averaging 14pts, 11rbs, and 1.8 blocks a game. If Milwaukee does find a way to obtain the swiss kid, they will not be disappointed because not only is Capela an aggressive rebounder but he has shown the ability to find small holes in the defense for an easy dunk off of a lob. With a 7ft wingspan that almost averages 2 blocks a game and the ability to run the floor in transition Capela would be a nice dual threat for the Bucks.
Next player which would NEVER happen unless it was in free agency is Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis stacks up with each of the players I mentioned earlier with his size and length. The only difference is Porzingis has something they all lack which is the ability to score at will. He is averaging 23pts, 6rbs, and over 2 blocks a game. A lot of the players I mentioned earlier usually depend on others to make scoring easier for them because the guards will draw in the defense to open up the middle. Not Porzingis, he can draw defenses behind the arc and break towards the basket for an explosive dunk. With Porzingis on the floor Milwaukee will be able to completely space the floor because of Kristaps ability to consistently nail jumpers. This will make driving to the lane easier for Giannis, Bledsoe, and Parker. Think of him as what Milwaukee hopes Thon Maker will eventually develop into. The only problem is that since Porzingis plays away from the basket, his ability to grab offensive rebounds is very limited. Standing at over 7ft tall Porzingis should easily be grabbing more rebounds than his current average. But his 8ft wing span is evident with the amount of blocks he is tallying up each night. Sadly for the Bucks Porzingis will live up to his nickname of the unicorn because it will be impossible for the Bucks to actually land the big man.
Do you agree with my selections? If not leave a comment on the players you believe Milwaukee would benefit from trading for.