The Milwaukee Bucks have been in a standstill in the Eastern Conference over the past few years. The rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo has been real and he’s led the Bucks to a respectable position in the NBA. However, they’ve been unable to get over the hump and it’s time to get Antetokounmpo some help.
The Bucks ended their 2017-2018 season with a 44-38 regular season and a bounce out of the first round to the Boston Celtics. While last season was their best since the 2009-10 season, the Bucks have experienced first-round departures for the past three years. The Greek Freak has become a superstar and has even put himself in the MVP discussion but the help around him hasn’t been there. Guys like Kris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and Michael Brogdon were supposed to assist Milwaukee in turning the corner but injuries and inconsistency have held them back. Not to mention, their style of play hasn’t really fit the style of play that they need alongside Antetokounmpo.
The five-year forward’s style of play is very similar to LeBron James. He attracts a lot of attention with his ability to get to the basket at ease so it’s best to place a ton of shooters around him to open the floor. So far they’ve done a decent job at doing that this offseason. Milwaukee picked up Ersan Ilyasova in free-agency and also drafted Donte DiVincenzo in the NBA Draft.
Ilyasova is a 36% career three-point shooter and DiVincenzo is known for being a knock-down shooter. He shot 37.8% from behind the arc over his three-year career at Villanova and 40.1% during his junior year. The Bucks are in desperate need of shooters as they averaged 8.8 three-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting which they were ranked 27th and 21st respectively amongst the league.
One guy I would love to see them make an effort for is Kevin Love. With the departure of James, the Cleveland Cavaliers are at the doorstep of rebuilding. The question they must answer is if they want to rebuild and move forward with Love in the picture. The Cavaliers management has been vocal about not starting over and competing next season (via Cleveland.com)
“Kevin is an All-Star and you don’t get better by moving Kevin,” Altman said. “Kevin’s been incredible for us for four years and he wants to be here, and to me that’s a big part for guys that are here and the guys that we’re gonna acquire, is that they want to be here and be a part of this new chapter and culture that we’re creating.”
With that being said, it doesn’t hurt to pry at Cleveland to see if they’ll let him go. I believe he could be a huge asset for the Bucks. Love is a multi-faceted forward that can provide multiple ways of putting the ball in the basket. He can do it inside the paint with his back to the basket but he can also stretch the floor.
Love and Antetokounmpo could create multiple plays off of pick-and-pops and he’s a big that could bring the defensive big to the perimeter, really giving Antetokounmpo an open floor to operate with. In addition, he takes a load off of the Milwaukee superstar. He’s another offensive threat that can get his own and someone to go to when Antetokounmpo is off the floor. Where the Bucks really struggle is when he’s off the floor. They don’t have anyone else that can truly create for themselves and Love provides that.
He’s someone that I believe makes sense for the Bucks to go after. With Love in his later years, the asking price for him shouldn’t be that much. Love and Antetokounmpo could work well off each other making a trade worth looking into.