Breaking News: Milwaukee Bucks: Decisive Moves of Trading a Player After Playoff Disappointment …

Once again, the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves exiting the postseason early, extending a disappointing trend. Despite the notable addition of Damian Lillard to bolster the team’s star duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Bucks faltered in their quest to progress beyond the First Round of the NBA Playoffs for the second year in a row, despite holding a higher seed.

The trio of Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Lillard will remain intact for at least another two seasons. However, with supporting players failing to rise to the occasion, there’s uncertainty whether this team will capitalize on Giannis’ championship aspirations. As the offseason unfolds, the Bucks’ management faces the challenge of assembling the right mix of players to complement the Greek Freak.

Following this season’s setback, the composition of the Bucks team could undergo significant changes in the upcoming season. One player who stands out as a potential trade asset for the Bucks in the 2024 NBA offseason is Pat Connaughton.

Connaughton’s role and value within the Milwaukee Bucks organization have been subject to debate for some time. Despite expectations of him being surplus to requirements in a crowded backcourt, the Bucks opted to retain the veteran after he inked a three-year, $28.5 million contract extension in the summer of 2022. However, he appeared to be a trade target before this season’s deadline.

Once regarded as a solid defender, Connaughton’s defensive prowess has steadily declined, evidenced by his defensive rating rising from 104 in 2019-20 to 118 this season, marking a career low. Offensively, the 31-year-old’s output hasn’t compensated for his defensive shortcomings. Connaughton’s three-point shooting percentage of 34.5% this season ranks second lowest among Bucks players with at least 200 minutes of play, trailing only Giannis. Additionally, his scoring average of 5.6 points per game represents his second-lowest since joining Milwaukee in 2018-19, while his rebounding has also dipped.

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In the playoffs, Connaughton’s performance further declined, averaging just 4.5 points per game and shooting a dismal 27.3% from beyond the arc. Particularly noticeable was his hesitance to attempt three-pointers despite logging significant playing time.

With sharpshooter Malik Beasley entering free agency, along with Jae Crowder and Patrick Beverley, the need for floor spacing around Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes even more pressing. Given Connaughton’s diminished defensive abilities and limited offensive impact, it’s time for Milwaukee to part ways with a player who has spent six seasons with the team.

Connaughton’s contract carries a $9.4 million cap hit for the 2024-25 season, making any potential trade challenging, but necessary for the Bucks to alleviate luxury tax concerns. To facilitate a trade, Milwaukee may need to sweeten the deal with a draft pick or cash to acquire a younger player with a more manageable salary.

Following another postseason disappointment, the Bucks must take decisive action in the offseason to maximize Giannis Antetokounmpo’s championship aspirations. This entails shedding underperforming players and adding quality role players, even if it means parting ways with established names. Given his hefty salary and declining on-court contributions, Pat Connaughton stands out as a player who should be moved sooner rather than later.

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