The Milwaukee Bucks are in the thick of things when it comes to qualifying for this year’s postseason. The team is currently seventh in the East with a 23-20 slate but has been inconsistent in their past few games, losing five of their last nine.
There is an evident need to upgrade their center spot, and the Bucks have reportedly acknowledged that. Head coach Jason Kidd currently alternates John Henson and Thon Maker in the said position, and both are said to be young, skinny, and too raw to give Milwaukee the toughness that they would want to have in the paint.
Oregon Live’s Mike Richman reported that Milwaukee has been “looking to trade for a center” and have set their sights on potential trade targets in midseason, which included the Golden State Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee.
According to Clutch Points, Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan remains as the Bucks’ top target before the trade deadline, but Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol might be the most realistic one available for Milwaukee at the moment.
Gasol, who will turn 33 later this month, is in his 10th season in the NBA. He has grown into one of the most talented big men in the NBA, successfully transitioning from a traditional center into an outside-shooting stretch five that he is right now.
Gasol is averaging 18.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.5 shot blocks in 34.6 minutes per game in Memphis, and has continued to be the team’s best trade asset. Should the Grizzlies decide to go on a full-rebuild mode, which some analysts believe they soon will, then trading Gasol would give them enough assets to begin with.
FanSided‘s Sir Charles in Charge blog suggested a trade that would send Maker, Jabari Parker, and Matthew Dellavedova, plus a future second-round pick (via Dallas) to Memphis in exchange for Gasol.
The Bucks’ offense has been quite good with Giannis Antetokounmpo and now Eric Bledsoe around. However, the team’s weaknesses are in defense (25th in the NBA) and rebounding (26th) as they are currently ranked low in both categories.
Gasol’s presence would immediately boost Milwaukee in the two areas, and could even potentially improve their offense with his floor-spacing, three-point shooting skills. Gasol is shooting 33.0 percent from downtown this season, which is remarkable for a big man.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies get two young players with a lot of upside in Maker and Parker, a pesky bench player in Dellavedova, plus a future draft pick that would help a lot in their rebuild. The blog said that Parker could even be a “potential franchise player” in the future.