The Milwaukee Bucks are in a complicated situation this offseason. With the 2023 NBA Draft a week away, they need to fill out their roster, keep their salary cap reasonable, and figure out what to do in the draft. Currently, the Bucks have just one draft pick, the final pick in the entire draft. For a team with players that are aging, this is not an ideal situation. However, the first round pick they traded away was for Jrue Holiday, who helped the team win its first NBA Championship in 50 years. In that regard, it was worth it; but going forward, they need to get younger while keeping their window for another title open.
The Milwaukee Bucks Could Trade Up in the 2023 NBA Draft
According to a mock draft/report by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, the Bucks are one of three teams that multiple sources around the NBA have said have explored trades to move up into the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft:
“An additional note about trades if only because I don’t have anywhere else to put it: Sources across the league have said Milwaukee, Phoenix and Cleveland have explored potential opportunities to move up into the late 20s and 30s due to the depth of prospects on the wing and potential NBA-ready, older rotation players. Everyone explores deals this time of year, and you could probably write this sentence about any team. But those three do seem to be teams to watch.”
While most trade rumors and scenarios that have linked the Bucks in them have centered around Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, the fact of the matter is that neither of them are going anywhere. If the Bucks are going to trade up into the first round, it will likely cost them one of the following three players: Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, or Grayson Allen.
Last season, the Bucks used their first round pick on MarJon Beauchamp and their second round pick on AJ Green. With new head coach Adrian Griffin, these players and whatever rookie(s) they draft this year are sure to have a bigger role than they did/would have with Mike Budenholzer at the helm. Griffin is known for being able to develop players, most notably Jimmy Butler during his time with the Chicago Bulls.
As far as what position the Bucks will be looking for in the draft, they likely will be looking for a wing or center. Every NBA team needs wings, and the Bucks especially need depth at the center position.