Rumors and speculation continue to swirl around the Milwaukee Bucks who are reportedly eyeing to upgrade their frontcourt before the February 8 trade deadline. Should they consider trading for Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic?
Having the worst record in the ongoing 2017-18 NBA season, the Magic are expected to be active sellers before the NBA trade deadline. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Magic general manager John Hammond gave a major hint about their plan to make a huge roster overhaul which includes trading some of their veteran players.
Frank Urbina of HoopsHype sees Nikola Vucevic as one of the NBA players who could be moved with the Milwaukee Bucks as a potential trade destination. Since losing Greg Monroe, the Bucks have been aggressive on the trade market with the goal of upgrading their frontcourt. They are recently linked to DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat.
However, as Urbina noted, the Bucks would have to face some issues by trying to acquire either Jordan or Whiteside. Having a 2018 player option, Jordan could become an unrestricted free agent this summer where the Bucks would lose him for nothing. Meanwhile, the two-year, $52.5 million left on Whiteside’s contract might be too expensive for a center of his caliber.
This is why trading for Nikola Vucevic makes more sense for the Bucks. Not only he’s a cheaper alternative, but his contract won’t expire until 2019. Vucevic may not be a good shot blocker like Jordan and Whiteside, but he has the ability to space the floor which makes him an ideal frontcourt partner for Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
His shooting ability will help Antetokounmpo penetrate the basket easier. In 34 games this season, Vucevic is averaging 17.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc. In order to acquire him from the Magic, Urbina suggested that the Bucks could send Malcolm Brogdon, Sterling Brown, Mirza Teletovic to Orlando for Vucevic. The proposed deal works on the ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
The starting five of Nikola Vucevic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Tony Snell, and Eric Bledsoe will undeniably be a huge headache for any powerhouse teams in the Eastern Conference. Aside from acquiring a reliable center, the potential trade will allow the Bucks to get rid of Teletovic and the remaining $10.5 million left on his contract. Teletovic is currently sidelined due to the recurrence of blood clots.
Meanwhile, the Magic will be acquiring two young players that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Malcolm Brogdon and Sterling Brown have shown their potentials to become superstars in the league. Brogdon has been impressive since his rookie season, while Brown continues to find ways to improve his performance.
So far, there is no official confirmation about an ongoing deal between the Bucks and the Magic. Expect more rumors to circulate as the February 8 trade deadline draws near.