The 2022 NBA offseason has been relatively quiet for the Milwaukee Bucks so far.
Within the first hour of free agency, the front office was busy as they managed to sign several key players in Bobby Portis, Jevon Carter and Wesley Matthews while bringing in Joe Ingles. Other than that hour, there was radio silence on the Milwaukee side, but given general manager Jon Horst’s track record, he’s likely not done tinkering with the list just yet. While the Bucks don’t have the greatest financial flexibility right now, Horst could look to trade to improve his team as there are several compelling names that would be worth targeting. With all that said, here are five trades that should help the Milwaukee Bucks strengthen their roster.
NBA trades: The Milwaukee Bucks could be pursuing a switch for Rudy Gay
Second round selection
The Utah Jazz have been very busy lately having dropped two starters in the past week. The first was Royce O’Neale, who was sent to the Brooklyn Nets, but the bigger domino was her decision to trade Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a significant amount of draft picks and players. If Utah wants to move and retool more parts, the Milwaukee Bucks should make an offer for Rudy Gay, as the veteran forward could help patch several of the holes in their roster.
Gay has made a living as a goalscorer in the league for the past 16 years, averaging 16.3 points per game over that period. Although the forward had his least productive season so far in 2021/22, averaging single digits for the first time in his career, it could also be because he played a career low in minutes. With the right minutes, Gay could provide the second session, which is exactly what the Bucks need. According to NBA.com.stats, Milwaukee’s bench ranked 27th in bank points per game during the 2021-22 regular season, which turned out to be a notable mistake in the postseason. As they try to eliminate this problem, the addition of a reputable goalscorer like Gay could undoubtedly help matters.
Versatility is another factor that should make Gay a desirable target for Milwaukee considering they also lacked that last season. At 6’8 and 250 pounds, Gay is capable of playing both forward positions and could be the answer to Milwaukee’s current predicament at the power forward position. The roster fell short of a small ball four en route to the playoffs, sapping their ability to truly be at their best as Mike Budenholzer put Giannis Antetokounmpo in the middle. Though the Bucks added a power forward in Joe Ingles who could hypothetically play that role, he’s coming from ACL surgery and likely won’t be ready until early 2023. Meanwhile, Gay could step in and line up alongside Antetokounmpo if the Bucks go at those lineups, providing more points and quality rebounds.
The trade pack itself is simple. To match Gay’s $6.2 million salary next year, the Bucks could include George Hill and Rayjon Tucker. Hill will be on the books for the 2022-23 season for $4 million, while Tucker is currently on a $1.8 million non-guaranteed deal. The Bucks would need to add a second round of sweetening here as it looks like the Jazz have been picking up lately. To get a player like Gay who would make the Bucks better right away, it’s a worthy package to consider.