The Bucks got fleeced but it’s worth it as they try to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo happy in Milwaukee

In the wake of consecutive playoff failures that expose their lack of high-caliber perimeter play, and with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo a year away from free agency, the Bucks pulled the trigger on two huge deals on Monday that will bring in guards Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The Bucks sent Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three first-round picks and two future pick swaps to the Pelicans for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.

Shortly after, the Bucks agreed to the framework for a sign-and-trade deal for Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, sending Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson to Sacramento.

Just like that one of the deepest teams in the league traded in their depth and future for an elite level starting 5 with no bench to speak of.

Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks got fleeced, particularly in the trade for Holiday. But it was a move they HAD to make. They lost out on the opportunity of landing Chris Paul who would have been a bargain compared to the package they gave up for Holiday. With no cap space they couldn’t make a splash in free agency to impress Antetokounmpo to sign the max extension. Over paying for Holiday and Bogdanovic was the only move.

Focusing in on the Holiday trade, the Bucks are risking the next decade of their franchise in hopes that Holiday is enough to keep Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. IF the Bucks once again fall short of a championship and Antetokounmpo leaves, as does Holiday, the Bucks are in the cellar of the Eastern Conference un able to rebuild through the draft.

The Bucks don’t own their own draft pick outright for the next decade.

The Pelicans will get one of the Bucks picks in two days (the 24th pick, courtesy of the Malcolm Brogdon sign-and-trade with Indiana), the other two can’t convey until 2024 at the earliest. The Bucks owe a pick to Cleveland in 2022 that is top-10 protected and might not convey until 2024, which would push the Pelicans all the way out to 2026 on receiving the first pick. The Pelicans would then get the 2028 and 2030 Bucks 1st round picks.

If this all in tactic fails, the Bucks are looking at a potential 15 year rebuild in a small market.

But let’s be positive. The Bucks going all in proves that they will do whatever it takes to keep Antetokounmpo happy. The moves show that the Bucks are not content with being contenders but ultimately falling short of winning a title.

All those previously mentioned draft picks will be late first round picks as long as Antetokounmpo is in Milwaukee. Finding a player of Holiday’s caliber with the 28th pick each year is unlikely. Pushing all the chips to the center of the table, during the most important moment in franchise history should be something celebrated, not frowned upon.

Let’s assume this all in approach goes as planned. The addition of Holiday and Bogdanovic compliment Antetokounmpo’s game perfectly. The Bucks win a title, and ink the Greek Freak to a super max contract.

All of the jokes about the Bucks getting fleeced gets thrown out the window. Just ask the 2020 Lakers. At the time it looked like they gave up the future and then some for Anthony Davis. Today, nobody cares because they’re world champions.

A championship or Antetokounmpo extension makes all the negatives a moot point.

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Chris Paul’s race against father time will dictate if this trade is a success, or another Suns failure

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