After falling short in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks will have a lengthy offseason ahead to prepare for next season.
Going into the NBA offseason, it is certainly not time for the front office to panic about the roster. Excuses are excuses, but Khris Middleton was sidelined for virtually the entirety of the playoff run, and Milwaukee still pushed their second round matchup with the Boston Celtics to seven games. The team is in a good position with their opening night starting five locked in for next season, but that does not mean they should just be complacent this offseason by any means. The front office should be aggressive in trying to make some tweaks to the supporting cast, and there are several players around the NBA that would be perfect fits on this roster. With that being said, let us look closer at three teams the Bucks should contact this offseason in trade talks to bulk up their roster.
The Milwaukee Bucks should call the Utah Jazz in trade talks during the 2022 NBA offseason
Everyone wants to know what the Utah Jazz will do this offseason after their first round exit in the playoffs. Rumors have been swirling that the team could look to make some seismic changes, and Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that they are currently weighing trade possibilities with three-time All-Star Rudy Gobert. There could be some big changes coming in Utah this offseason, especially if franchise cornerstone Donovan Mitchell asks out. While the Milwaukee Bucks do not have nearly enough assets to land either of those two, there are several other players on the Jazz that could be enticing trade targets if they were looking to shake things up drastically.
Although it seems like a long shot, the Bucks should inquire about Jordan Clarkson’s availability in trade talks this offseason. Two of the most notable issues that plagued them throughout the year were a lack of second unit scoring and not having a reliable ball-handler off the bench. Clarkson is a player that could fix both of those issues on impact. During his two and a half seasons with Utah, one of which where he won Sixth Man of the Year, Clarkson has been a lethal scorer off the bench, having averaged 16.8 points per contest. Milwaukee needs a player that can generate consistent offense in the second unit, and Clarkson would be an ideal fit. The guard is also on the books for a relatively affordable $13.3 million next season, meaning the Bucks could make an offer if he were to be made available. Right now, it seems unlikely, but anything can happen in a few months.
If Clarkson if off the table, another target that would make sense for the Bucks to take a look at is Royce O’Neale. In fact, many have pegged the 28-year-old small forward as the ideal trade target for the Bucks this offseason due to what he could bring to the table. On impact, the 6-foot-4 small forward would immediately shore up Milwaukee’s wing depth, which is high on their to-do list this coming offseason after a lack of it was evident in their playoff run. Offensively, O’Neale would not provide an ample amount of scoring, but his outside shooting would help him fit right in as he has knocked down 38.1 percent of his career triples on three attempts per game. Defensively, O’Neale would be a great piece to add to the puzzle alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and a handful of others to make this team even more formidable on that side of the basketball. O’Neale is set to make $9.2 million next season, meaning his salary is digestible for a team like the Bucks. If he is potentially available, Milwaukee should make an offer for the 28-year-old.