It is time for Milwaukee Bucks fans to get real honest with themselves about this NBA offseason and the team’s chances at winning the NBA Championship next season. There is a good amount of fans and media outlets that believe that the team will trade either Khris Middleton or Jrue Holiday this offseason. Their hope is that they will get a younger, better player in return. However, if this is what these fans expect to happen, they will be severely disappointed.
NBA Insider Says Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday Are Staying with the Milwaukee Bucks
In a recent mailbag article on The Athletic, NBA and Milwaukee Bucks insider Eric Nehm was asked about Milwaukee shaking up its roster by trading Middleton or Holiday. His response will deflate those that want to see one or both of them gone:
“Based on the Bucks’ current salary-cap table, I think this is a difficult summer to make a major shakeup with the roster.
“First, the Bucks are title contenders next season. As we discussed here at The Athletic yesterday, the Bucks currently have the third-best odds to win the 2024 NBA title, according to BetMGM. Say what you will about the predictive ability of betting odds, but they aren’t some sort of great departure from reality.
“If Antetokounmpo never got hurt in the first round this past season, the Bucks could have made it through the Eastern Conference and into the NBA Finals. If Middleton never got hurt in the first round two seasons ago, the Bucks could have made it past the Celtics and into the NBA Finals as well. These are just hypotheticals, of course, but that is the talent level the Bucks have shown over the last five seasons.
“A major shakeup puts all of that in jeopardy. Sometimes, bold change is necessary, but this doesn’t necessarily feel like the team that needs it.
“On top of that, the Bucks’ current salary-cap situation makes a major shakeup difficult to pull off. Two of the team’s best players have free agent decisions to make this summer and the sign-and-trade market just doesn’t provide an awful lot of avenues to get an equal return in value.
“The Bucks could potentially trade Holiday in this scenario, but he is such a well-established player that Milwaukee would likely be looking to get young players in return for him and taking a step back next season to get younger and shake up the roster just doesn’t seem like a sensible move for the Bucks, considering they should be pushing for a championship every season Antetokounmpo is on the roster.”
As Nehm notes, the Bucks are currently one of the favorites to win the NBA title next season. That is with Middleton and Holiday on the roster. Moving either one of them could jeopardize the championship odds. Of course, odds are not everything; however, it is noteworthy that Vegas deems the Bucks as title favorites with two players on their roster that some fans believe would hurt their chances.
The second important point that Nehm makes is that Holiday is an aging player. The only scenario in which Milwaukee would trade him is if they wanted to blow up their roster to get younger. Giannis Antetokounmpo is still in his prime, and as long as he is, the Bucks’ title window is open. They are not going to make any kind of drastic roster moves anytime soon.
Now, by drastic I mean trading one of their All-Stars. When it comes down to who the Bucks could potentially trade, there are really three realistic candidates: Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, and Pat Connaughton. Of course, none of those players are going to fetch the Bucks another All-Star, not that Milwaukee could afford another one anyway.
If the Bucks make a trade, it will be for another wing and/or to move up into the first round of the NBA Draft, and none of those moves will involve Holiday or Middleton.