The Bucks dealt Miles Plumlee to Charlotte this week, getting out from under Plumlee’s $50MM contract while acquiring inexpensive big men Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert. Milwaukee GM John Hammond was widely lauded for the move, creating additional payroll while finding a willing trade partner for Plumlee, who had been relegated to 9.7 MPG through 32 games this season.
With the newfound future cap space, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical suggests Milwaukee may pursue a new deal for Tony Snell, who has averaged 8.1 points on 45.8% shooting in Khris Middleton‘s absence. A restricted free agent after 2016/17, Snell would command a significantly higher salary than the $2,368,327 he earned this season.
In the meantime, however, the Bucks have some roster configuring to do following this week’s trade. As Kevin Pelton pointed out for ESPN, Milwaukee’s depth chart at the five is suddenly loaded, with Hawes, Hibbert, John Henson, Greg Monroe, and Thon Maker all vying for court time.
At first glance, Hibbert appears the most likely to be traded or bought out by the trade deadline. The 30-year-old isn’t on the books for next season, and – if it’s any indication of his role on the team – has already been ruled a healthy inactive for Milwaukee’s game against Phoenix on Saturday. The Bucks have been linked to Hawes in the past, and the 28-year-old has a $6,021,175 player option for next season; a reasonable salary for a competent backup center, though there’s a good chance he’ll opt out.
If Monroe or Henson yield a more significant return on the trade market than the team’s newly-acquired veterans, it may not be a bad idea to trade one of them for a combo guard. As of right now, the Bucks are relying on a combination of Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jason Terry behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. Monroe has been subject to trade rumors throughout his two-year run in Milwaukee; last month, Monroe claimed to be undecided regarding his $17.8MM player option following the 2016/17 season.
The Bucks have already waived Steve Novak to accommodate Thursday’s trade, creating a center-heavy roster during a vital stretch of their playoff pursuit. In a league over-saturated with centers, Hammond’s challenge may involve finding a new home for one his five big men.
What do you think? Are the Bucks done dealing for now, or will they continue to be active before the trade deadline?