Should the Defending Champions Make a Move at the NBA Trade Deadline?

The defending champions the Golden State Warriors have been going through a weird and uncertain season. They are struggling to find their groove since Kevin Durant left, but they still managed to make it into the NBA Finals despite all of that turmoil. Now word is coming out that some Clippers players may be available as trade pieces at this year’s deadline-can they ever win without three or four superstars? Moreover, what would happen if LeBron James went back home to Cleveland next summer? Would anything change for these teams then?

The “bucks news” is a question that has been asked by many fans this season. The Milwaukee Bucks are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference and have the best record in the NBA. Should they make a move at the NBA trade deadline?

Should the Defending Champions Make a Move at the NBA Trade Deadline?

Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks demonstrated they had a championship squad when Giannis Antetokounmpo and company led the team to its first NBA Championship in almost 50 years.

In 2021-22, the team opted to rerun it with the majority of the same roster. Milwaukee has also opted to attempt to boost its lineup with some in-season trades as it tries to add seasoned depth on the outside since then.

Jon Horst, the Bucks’ general manager, has demonstrated in the past that he’s not hesitant to make a trade or two if he thinks it’s necessary — but are there any more deals to be had? Is it better to sit tight as the NBA’s trade deadline approaches?

Milwaukee has regained its championship form after a sluggish start.

Is it a good idea for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to make a move at this year's NBA trade deadline?

Is it a good idea for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to make a move at this year's NBA trade deadline? The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and head coach Mike Budenholzer watch a game against the Indiana Pacers in the second quarter. | Getty Images/Dylan Buell

During the month of October, the Bucks started the season 3-4. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, two of the team’s Big Three, were both sick or injured.

In October, Holiday only appeared in two of the seven games. When Holiday returned, Middleton missed eight games due to a positive Covid-19 test.

Milwaukee is 22-10 since both players returned to the lineup with Giannis. In November, the Bucks had a winning percentage of.714 when their main players returned to health. They finished the month with the fourth-best record in the NBA, ninth in scoring, and fourth in defensive rating.

Milwaukee has won the third-most games in the league, is fourth in scoring, and is tied for fourth in defensive rating since November 1.

The Bucks are shaping up to be one of the top teams in the NBA. Horst shouldn’t become involved in any of this.

At this year’s NBA trade deadline, the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster did not need any changes.

During the offseason, the reigning champs signed Grayson Allen, who has since established himself as a regular starter for head coach Mike Budenholzer. According to Spotrac, the franchise has also signed DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Matthews to non-guaranteed contracts since the start of the season.

Brook Lopez, the starting center, has only appeared in one game thus far in 2021-22. Cousins has offered decent depth at that position, averaging 8.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in over 17 minutes per game.

Donte DiVincenzo, who played every game at two-guard previous season, has recently recovered after an injury sustained during the 2021 playoffs. Allen has filled in for him in 36 games, averaging 11.9 points on 38.9% three-point shooting. He only drops the ball 0.6 times every night.

After that, Milwaukee acquired Matthews as a backup to Allen and Pat Connaughton. The veteran has appeared in 11 games with the Bucks, averaging 16.7 minutes per night. Wes isn’t taking many shots, but he’s been effective, shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Milwaukee can now play five deep in the backcourt (six counting DiVincenzo) and four deep in the frontcourt. All of this is in addition to a two-time MVP franchise centerpiece.

The Big Three of the squad is back together. There’s no reason for the Bucks to add or remove any more players. The lineup is in place, poised, and ready to go.

The Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, are primed for another championship run.

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Milwaukee has been one of the greatest teams in the NBA, both statistically and in terms of wins, since November. The squad just needed to become healthy, which it has done to a large extent.

During last year’s playoffs, Jrue, Khris, and Giannis carried the Bucks. All three are working up a sweat and regaining their mojo.

The Bucks are poised to put their best healthy foot forward and make a run at consecutive NBA Championships with the additional depth of Matthews and Cousins, as well as the return of a healthy DiVincenzo, and the squad Milwaukee has already put on the court this year.

NBA.com provided all data.

RELATED: No Giannis, No Problem: Jrue Holiday Shows the Milwaukee Bucks Are Still the Favorites to Win a Second Straight NBA Title

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