The Boston Celtics somehow landed former Milwaukee Bucks star Jrue Holiday during what turned out to be a very eventful offseason. It has been an undeniably tough pill to swallow for Milwaukee now that Holiday ended up with arguably their biggest rival in the Eastern Conference.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Bucks could return the favor? Much like they did, the Celtics also parted ways with a key member of their squad this summer in Marcus Smart. If Milwaukee somehow gets their hands on the former Defensive Player of the Year, then it would be a great way to counter Boston’s Holiday coup, while also upgrading the Bucks’ backcourt defense significantly.
Milwaukee Bucks’ Hypothetical Trade for Marcus Smart
Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report recently came up with a handful of hypothetical trades for the eight remaining teams in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament. According to Swartz, the Bucks could pretty much break the NBA if they are able to somehow pry Smart away from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here are the details of the proposed trade:
Milwaukee Bucks Receive: G Marcus Smart
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: F/C Bobby Portis, G/F Pat Connaughton, MarJon Beauchamp, 2024 second-round pick (via Portland Trail Blazers)
Swartz’s main argument here is that the Bucks’ defense took a significant dip with Holiday’s departure. Pairing Smart with Damian Lillard in the backcourt could be the move that takes Milwaukee over the edge:
“Adding a proven point-of-attack defender like Smart—who can switch onto bigger forwards as well—would help bring the Bucks back toward the top of the standings.
“A starting five of Lillard, Smart, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez would be extremely potent on both ends and still have a bench featuring Jae Crowder, Malik Beasley, Cameron Payne and Andre Jackson Jr,” Swartz wrote.
Parting ways with Bobby Portis, in particular, is a tough blow for the Bucks, but if they are able to get Smart as part of the deal, then it should be all worth it.
Will the Grizzlies Go for It?
Smart, who is currently out for the next month or so with an ankle injury, has made quite an impact on the Grizzlies thus far. However, Swartz points out that Memphis might need to part ways with the veteran in order to address one major issue on its roster:
“For a Grizzlies team getting ready for the return of Ja Morant but without Steven Adams for the entire season, the frontcourt now becomes the priority. Portis grew up just two hours outside of Memphis in Little Rock, Arkansas, and should quickly become a fan favorite with his intensity, scoring and rebounding prowess.
“Connaughton and Beauchamp can be rotation plug-ins as well, helping to save what’s quickly becoming a lost season in Memphis,” wrote Swartz.
Connaughton is a tested vet, while Beauchamp has a considerable ceiling. The second-round draft pick only sweetens the deal for Memphis, who will be looking to make a splash in the playoffs this season.
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