The NBA off-season is in full swing. Rumors of potential trades and free agent signings have been running amok. We recently saw multiple trades happening around the NBA; Chris Paul moved to the Suns, while Kelly Oubre moved to the Thunder.
The Milwaukee Bucks finally made some moves too. The Bucks moved Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, 3 first-round picks to acquire two-way beast Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Bucks also got Sacramento’s Bogdan Bogdanovic in a sign-in trade. The Bucks sent Donte Divincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and DJ Wilson off to Sacramento and received Bogdanovic and Justin James.
The two trades have now made the Bucks’ starting lineup one of the best in the league. For many, these moves may have made sure that Giannis Antetokounmpo signs the Supermax deal, but ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has a different opinion.
Smith said on First Take, “I still don’t know if this going to deliver a chip. And I think that’s what it’s going to take to keep Giannis in Milwaukee.
“I can be wrong, but I just don’t see him staying in Milwaukee unless they win the title. The Greek Freak won’t stay unless and until they win the championship.
Smith later added, “I am not knocking the deals they have made, they are all good deals and definitely makes them better. And you kept Middleton, and you added Holiday. So that’s a big-big deal. I am not knocking the moves that they made.
“In the end, it still does not prevent you from considering moving the Greek Freak before the trading deadline expires in the event that you don’t think that he’s going to stay.
“You cannot lose the Greek Freak for nothing. [You can’t] watch him watch walk away from Milwaukee because you’re not gonna get any free agents.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo has only a year left in his contract. After that, the ‘Greek Freak’ can enter unrestricted free agency or sign a Supermax deal with Milwaukee. Only time will tell what he decides to do.
Have the Bucks become instant competitors with these trades?
In the 2019-20 Playoffs, the Bucks were underwhelming to say the least. The team who had the best record in the league lost to the 5th seed and eventual Eastern Conference Champions, Miami Heat.
It was pretty evident that the team was hugely dependent on Antetokounmpo’s abilities in both the offense and the defense. When he did not perform well, only Middleton stepped up, but not the rest of the team.
By trading for Jrue Holiday, the Bucks are adding one of the best two-way players in the league. Holiday is considered by many players as the toughest defender to face in the league.
Apart from that, he can also add 20-25 points in a regular position. His display in the 2018 Playoffs showed how effective he can be on either side of the floor.
In their second trade, the Bucks acquired Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic is a great shooter and can create his own shots. The Serbian shooting guard can be helpful in taking some weight off of Middleton.
The Bucks with these 2 trades surely have made themselves a contender for the East.
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