Milwaukee Bucks: 1 Key Starter Immediately Named in Trade Speculation After Mike Budenholzer Hired by Phoenix Suns

The Milwaukee Bucks have quite a few challenges they will need to face this offseason as they reconstruct their roster. Granted, they have two great building blocks in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, but the amount of money they are paying those stars, as well as Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and other veterans who have been with the team for a while, make it impossible for them to sign any free agents to any contract other than a veteran minimum one.

Milwaukee Bucks, Brook Lopez
Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer speaks to Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the second half in game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Another challenge is that, due to their spending, they are in the second apron of the NBA luxury tax. This means that they any trade they partake in must have equal salaries involved. In other words, they cannot shed salary cap space by trading a more expensive player. They need to bring in as much money as they send out.

This does not mean that working out a trade will be impossible; it just means that it will be difficult. However, one long-time starter has become the subject of trade rumors and speculation ever since former Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was hired by the Phoenix Suns.

Milwaukee Bucks Center Brook Lopez Named in Phoenix Suns Trade Rumors and Speculation

Milwaukee Bucks center Brook LopezFeb 29, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) leads the Bucks onto the floor against the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Budenholzer was hired by Phoenix, there has been one name that fans on social media have begun naming a possible trade target for the team: Bucks’ center Brook Lopez.



Now, as mentioned, working out a deal for Lopez would not be impossible; however, it would be extremely difficult.

How Would a Trade Between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns Work?

Milwaukee Bucks, Brook Lopez
Mar 26, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) lays up a shot against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
According to Spotrac, Lopez has a salary cap hit of $23 million next season. Therefore, Milwaukee would need to take back $23 million worth of salary from the Suns in a potential trade.

Jusuf Nurkic has a salary cap hit of $18.1 million next season, so he could be a potential piece in a trade, but the suns would need to include more players to make up for the difference in salary. They would have to fill the trade with a combination of their lowest paid players, such as David Roddy, Damion Lee, or Drew Eubanks.

Is a Brook Lopez Trade Likely to Happen for the Milwaukee Bucks?

Milwaukee Bucks, Pascal Siakam, Indiana Pacers, Brook LopezApr 23, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball against Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) in the first half during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
As mentioned previously, any trade that the Bucks might explore this offseason is going to be very complicated. They can work on potential trades, but the players involved may not be who Bucks fans may think will be.

A potential trade should also serve the purpose of improving the Bucks’ roster, and the Suns simply do not have the players available in a trade that would serve that purpose. Moving Lopez to Phoenix sounds more like fantasy than actual reality.

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