O’Connor’s Latest: Bucks, Mavs, LaVine, Gordon, More

The Bucks are active in trade discussions and have offered point guard Eric Bledsoe to multiple teams, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. As the Bucks look to upgrade their roster around reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and standout forward Khris Middleton, it sounds like they’re focusing on two-way forwards with defensive versatility — according to O’Connor, the club is pursuing Rockets veterans Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker.

O’Connor’s latest mock draft at The Ringer includes plenty of interesting tidbits, including a couple we’ve already passed along. Here are a few more highlights:

  • Multiple teams, including the Mavericks, have contacted the Bulls this offseason to inquire on Zach LaVine‘s availability, says O’Connor. It’s not clear if Chicago would have any interest in moving its leading scorer.
  • League sources tell The Ringer that the Magic have made efforts to move up into the lottery by attaching Aaron Gordon to their No. 15 selection.
  • O’Connor writes that the Suns are “hoping” to use their No. 10 pick in a trade for Chris Paul. That would seemingly contradict an earlier report that suggested Phoenix probably wouldn’t that pick in an offer for the Thunder point guard.
  • Executives around the NBA are fairly confident that Deni Avdija won’t fall past Cleveland at No. 5, according to O’Connor, who is the latest to report that the Cavaliers are high on the Israeli wing.
  • There has been increasing buzz surrounding Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski, with execs around the league increasingly believing that he’ll be a lottery pick, per O’Connor.
  • Oregon guard Payton Pritchard is receiving interest from multiple teams near the end of the first round, sources tell O’Connor. One of those sources thinks Pritchard may even have a promise.
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22 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: Bucks, Mavs, LaVine, Gordon, More

  1. Sports guy 2005

    We all thought this was going to be a relatively quiet offseason because of the lackluster free agent class and draft class, but indeed it’s just going to be an offseason full of trades

  2. Sillivan

    Per article
    Bucks are pursuing Rockets veterans Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker.

    It means to me that the House of Daryl Morey built is collapsing.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      How exactly? Everyone says the Rockets were stuck with the same team and would never win a championship. You keep wrongly stating how they have no first round picks for most of the next decade when in fact they traded only two, and two others are swaps which will in all likelihood never occur.

      Now it looks like Westbrook might be traded, and they should get decent value for a very good player. If the Clippers pursue him they could give back a lot of what they received for CP3.

      • hiflew

        They have traded more than two. For the seven years between 2020 and 2026, the Rockets only have 1st round picks in 2022 and 2023. All the rest have been moved in various deals.

  3. The Howler

    Weird candidates for the Bucks as both guys play the 3-4 position which is currently filled by Giannis and Khris. I guess that they could back up both guys and get 25 minutes per game but Covington should be a starter.

    • mlbnyyfan

      Looks like a lot of teams high on Deni. Is he supposed to be the next Luka?

      • hiflew

        I think he will be a pretty good starting SF in the NBA, but to expect him to those heights would just be asking for disappointment. He may very well reach those heights, but to expect him to be a top 5 NBA player is just not realistic.

    • brownscavsr4me

      It could maybe work. Middleton has the handle/shot and lateral quickness to play/defend the 2, and giannis can guard the 5 if needed. A lineup w/ Hill-Middleton-Covington-Tucker-Antetokounmpo doesnt sounds like a solid denensive/3 point shooting team IMO

    • hiflew

      I think Middleton could be a 2 in theory with Covington as a 3. Tucker could be used a backup for both Giannis and even Lopez against smaller centers. I think the fit is not ideal, but it could work.

  4. Dunkinstompin

    Whatever you do, do not trade for Westbrick! He’ll ruin it because the only thing he wants is stats even if he has to snatch rebounds from big men! You better off trade up in draft for Killian Hayes and Haliburton or get a Schroder.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Eric Bledsloe and a first round pick for Victor Oladipo

    Bucks then are stacked with George Hill at the 1 Oladipo Middelton Giants and BLopez.
    That’s an amazing defence plus some good scoring and shooting which would make them the 1 seed in the east and probably gets them past the Heat Celtics and Raptors

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      False. I wouldn’t even take Oladipo for Bledsoe straight up, let alone including a 1st.

      It’s real disappointing that based on O’Connor’s reporting, the Bucks are intending to use Giannis as PG and are looking for “two-way forwards with defensive versatility” instead of using Giannis for that role, which is clearly his most natural position.

      Unless they’re trading for Covington and keeping Bledsoe? Either way not a great step forward.

      • bravesfan88
        bravesfan88

        Yeah, the Bucks better be careful. Right now they are in a dangerous spot, not being able to get over the hump, and afraid if they don’t they might lose their best player.

        However, you dont want to make changes just for the sake of making changes, that’s how teams run themselves out from their title contending windows…

      • x%sure

        I did not see where the Bucks want Giannis at PG; that would be fun to see; but OConner has them taking PG Cole Anthony.

        • DeathbyDeathwest

          Hard to think how else to put it when Giannis brings the ball up in the half court, drives to a euro-step to kick out or dunk on a good chunk of your possessions.

          I would love to see the Bucks use Giannis as an actual big and find a PG who can create, distribute, and shoot. CP3 might not be possible, but that’s the type of guy I’d like to see them focus on, and then find a two-way forward for the bench.

          If Cole Anothony is the pick, great, but he’s not going to help the Bucks get over the Heat, Nets, or whoever else in the playoffs next year.

  6. x%sure

    HR good idea to go to thar well again for a page. Good content. He seems to think teams have disguised interest in Pokusevski.

    OConnor has the Lakers taking Malachi Flynn, saying they need to tale a PG, Rondo leaving or not. *ahem* Alex Caruso?? Maybe OConnor just wanted to jam Flynn in there somewhere.OConnor

    I thought Orlando would not be trading Aaron Gordon with Isaac’s injury. But management is s o disinterested in him they would use him just to move up a bit? Yikes.

    There may be a long tier lasting all the way to the second round!l
    Ball the best, Jalen Smith for value… he’s an awful passer though. Toppin for most impressive, but he could get abused on defense in crunch time.

  7. KnickerbockerAl

    Pokusevski is for real. Been pushing him since end of ncaa. He’s another Dirk. A future all star for sure. Just need to keep him Europe for 2-3 yrs. Too young and too thin for NBA. Needs to fill out and work on his shot. He’s very nice future stretch 4. Really like him.

  8. x%sure

    Gotta say, if Darius Bazley realized the mistake of skipping BB a year, and took one year of college and was drafted this year, probably he would be #1 not #23 and financially more than made up for the year out.

  9. El Don

    Pokusevski as a lottery pick is a no brainer! Actually he should be a top 5-6!

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