Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks entered the 2019-20 NBA season with the goal of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title. However, despite having the best record in the league, the Bucks still have plenty of things that they need to address on their roster, including the point guard position. Eric Bledsoe may currently be doing well in the regular season but if he would be establishing the same performance in the 2020 NBA Playoffs as he did last year, it would definitely be a major problem for the Bucks.
As of now, one of the possible solutions for the Bucks’ problem is trading for Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though Paul is older than Bledsoe, Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report believes that he is “demonstrably better.”
“But Chris Paul is demonstrably better. A real-plus minus annual hero, the Point God beats Bledsoe in every significant category. The math for a Paul trade is difficult but not impossible. Packaging Bledsoe and the Lopez twins works. So does Bledsoe, George Hill and Ersan Ilyasova. And that might be enough for an OKC squad that has proved to do right by its superstars. Plus, the Thunder cleaning up their books long-term while giving the keys to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander comes with its perks.”
Paul is undeniably an upgrade over Bledsoe at the Bucks’ starting point guard position. Paul would be giving the Bucks another reliable scoring option and a pass-first point guard who is very familiar with playoff pressure. In the 11 years he appeared in the postseason, the 34-year-old floor general averaged 20.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. With the two years he spent with James Harden on the Houston Rockets, Paul won’t definitely have a hard time making himself fit alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.
However, despite the things he can contribute for the Bucks this season, Ellis believes that Paul is the type of “tempting trade target” that they should avoid before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Though he would increase their chances of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, trading for Paul would cripple the Bucks’ depth and tremendously affect their salary cap flexibility.
Also, as much as he wanted to play for a legitimate title contender, Paul said that he’s unlikely to sacrifice a huge amount of money for the sake of being traded. As of now, Ellis thinks that the Bucks are better off keeping their core intact and just hope that Bledsoe will show improved performance when the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.