Milwaukee Bucks sell out for a playoff push by acquiring Eric Bledsoe
After beginning the year in the bottom third of offensive production, the Milwaukee Bucks took a leap of faith in trading for Eric Bledsoe. The trade sends a protected first and second round pick in this year's draft along with center Greg Monroe to Phoenix while Bledsoe heads to the Bucks as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
To make it long story short, the Suns will get one of Milwaukee's first round picks between 2018 and 2021 with various protections as the years go on. However, if the Buck's second round pick doesn't fall between 48-60th overall this season, the Bucks keep the pick outright.
Overall, this is a great trade for a Bucks team that is desperately trying to take advantage of a depleted Eastern Conference. Milwaukee now has a various amount of options and lineups with Bledsoe in the mix. They can move the 2016/2017 rookie of the year Malcom Brogdon to the second unit which will spark their scoring and ball movement when Giannis Antentokounmpo and Bledsoe head to the bench. When Jabari Parker returns, they can go small with Bledsoe-Brogdon-Middleton-Parker-Antentokounmpo. This is just a taste of what the Bucks can throw at teams now that they have a true threat at point guard.
Most importantly, with Bledsoe taking the reigns at point guard, Antentokounmpo can fall back and play his natural power forward position. Teams will have to stretch out in attempts to cover two premier scorers in the NBA, opening things up for Khris Middleton and Tony Snell from beyond the arc. Regardless, for a team that has struggled to score, they now have a plethora of players and options to light up the scoreboard night in and night out.
However, this trade does muddy the water for a few players. Jabari Parker will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, and his future with the team is more in doubt now than ever. He averaged over 20 points a game when healthy last season, but two ACL injuries have largely relegated Parker's NBA career to the training room. With Bledsoe's contract on the books for the next two seasons, paying Parker become more complicated. Resigning Parker could become easier if the Bucks managed to trade Matthew Dellavedova's bloated contract (approximately $9.6 mil a year), but his value has plummeted even further with the addition of Bledsoe. The Bucks would have to deliberately carve out minutes for him in order to prove he is a somewhat tradable asset, but that's counter productive to a team looking for a top 4 playoff seed.
Even with future contracts being a question mark, the trade has to be considered a massive win for the Bucks. They managed to get a borderline all-star in exchange for a low first round pick and a center who came off the bench (whose salary $17 million a year). The Bucks got stronger and created more cap space en route to a very promising season.