For an overview of this project, check out the introduction here.
We kicked off this project by comparing a reasonable deal with the Detroit Pistons with an outlandish proposal for the Washington Wizards, and the readers were loud and clear with their preference. In our 1-16 bracket matchup, the Bucks/Pistons package won by a healthy margin, and the top-seeded Derrick Rose/Luke Kennard package moves on to the next round.
Today, our showdown involves a pair of trades that are far more palatable than anything involving John Wall. Each deal focuses on a less-splashy name coming back to the Milwaukee Bucks, and is designed to help bolster the Bucks’ point guard position in ways we may have not considered before.
7) Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie
Why the Bucks do it:
Milwaukee needs scoring punch in the backcourt, and Dinwiddie offers exactly that. Putting up 20.6 points per game in 2019-20, the 6’5” combo guard has come a long way since entering the league as a second-round pick with Detroit. He’s far more established of an offensive player than Donte is now, and maybe ever will be, and adding him to a backcourt with George Hill and Eric Bledsoe offers more flexibility than the Bucks had before (both on the court and with other trades involving Bledsoe). Dinwiddie has a player option on his final year in 21-22, and may be interested in locking into a new contract with a team that will consistently compete.
Why the Nets do it:
Dinwiddie was an important part of Brooklyn’s offense...but now Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are both available, and the number of possessions they require leave less available for Dinwiddie. With Caris LeVert also helping handle the ball, new head coach Steve Nash may benefit from untangling the knot of offensive initiators on the roster. Donte gives the Nets a sorely-needed young piece with future cost control and defensive upside, and Ersan is a steady veteran (with $7.0M expiring this season) to have around.
Milwaukee receives: Spencer Dinwiddie
Brooklyn receives: Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova
This trade seems a little lopsided at first glance, and it’s reasonable if the Bucks decided to add a future pick to sweeten the deal. However, when you consider future team-building, pairing Donte in the backcourt with Kyrie helps shore up the Nets’ defense, settles the offensive pecking order in Brooklyn, and Ersan’s expiring salary gives the Nets some breathing room when they might need it next summer. Dinwiddie also has recently parted ways with his agency and may represent himself, indicating that he may exercise his player option next offseason to maximize his earnings. Making that problem the Bucks’ problem is worth something, while control over Donte’s next contract is a better problem to have.
10) Memphis Grizzlies: Tyus Jones
Why the Bucks do it:
Jones is the type of point guard the Bucks haven’t had in a long time: a floor general comfortable moving the ball around and running the offense. He’s somewhat undersized (6’0”) and his counting stats don’t pop off the screen (career averages of 7.4 points and 4.4 assists per game), but he’s efficient, involves his teammates consistently, and isn’t a sieve on defense. More importantly, he’s a young player in his prime on a reasonable contract (signed as an RFA from Minnesota), and could be a stabilizing force on offense when the level of competition bogs the Bucks down in the playoffs. That future upside is worth the short-term downgrade of the competent but oft-injured Hill and spending an extra future second round pick. It even saves a little bit of money on the cap for this year, what’s not to like?!
Why the Grizzlies do it:
Ja Morant is the future of the franchise, and rightfully so. Jones is a good backup for him, but Hill would be a better one as the Grizzlies continue trying to level up and break into the Western Conference playoff picture. Hill is also on a team-friendly deal (his salary in 21-22 is only partially guaranteed) and is a consistent veteran presence and respected voice in the locker room. The extra second round pick is simply an asset to be used to further build the team out, either as a young prospect or a trade asset.
Milwaukee receives: Tyus Jones
Memphis receives: George Hill, 2022 IND 2nd (via MIL)
Memphis improves more in the short-term with this deal, but Milwaukee gets a younger player who may be a better fit for what they need to do differently on offense. Jones is not the same type of point guard as Hill or Bledsoe, but that may be precisely why he’s worth the investment. Allowing Jones to navigate the defense and find teammates for good shots is where the Bucks struggle the most; the player currently on the roster who fits that description best is...Frank Mason? It also gives the Bucks some positional security to seek another point guard by dealing another player; the other assets and contracts can be used in a different move to reload the roster on the fly.
Vote for your preferred trade package!
7-10 Trade Package Matchup
This poll is closed
Nets: Dinwiddie / Donte, Ersan
Grizzlies: Jones / Hill, future 2nd