NBA trade season opened yesterday, and it was uncomfortably quiet. Fans braced for the impact of wojbombs and the flurry of tweets to follow, but none came. 10:30 rolls around, it’s time to get in bed and binge the next subpar Netflix original. BUT WAIT!

My eyes are closed, I’m snoring into my pillow, suddenly Woj starts fever tweeting away on the trade market. Realistically, I can’t say anything but that I’m hurt these GMs couldn’t wait until I got a good night’s rest. Now that I’m done complaining, I can express my true shock. The Bucks are in desperation mode. They are set to offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a supermax prior to his pending free agency next season, and he is not committed to staying. Seeing the best player in the league slip from their fingertips, the Bucks are throwing everything at the wall to get Giannis to sign.

Why’s Giannis Sick of Milwaukee?

New Giannis Antetokounmpo Video Fires Warning Shot at LeBron James and Rest  of NBA
Giannis has not been able to make a deep playoff run with the Bucks since he was drafted.

Giannis is the best player in the league. Fight me over LeBron, I don’t care. Giannis is already passing LeBron in skill and he’s only 25. The issue? He plays on a team with shoddy star power. If there is anything that the pursuit for super-teams has shown us (again goodbye LeBron), a one-man show in the current NBA is not going to get you deep unless you have stellar coaching, something the Bucks also do not have. Mike Budenholzer is incapable of making adjustments, and it has shown in the playoffs. If the Bucks really want to show Giannis they are committed to change and growth, they should have fired him.

The Bucks’ Splash in NBA Trade Season

Milwaukee Bucks: Grades and reactions from Jrue Holiday trade
The Bucks traded for Jrue Holiday late on the first day of the 2020 NBA trade season.

It was a busy night for the Bucks (emphasis on night, late night.) They made two significant moves to try to bolster their star power. The Bucks and Kings agreed to a sign-and-trade that will bring Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin James to Milwaukee; while sending Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, and Ersan Ilyasova to Sacramento. The big land for the Bucks here is Bogdan Bogdanovic, who replaces Eric Bledsoe as he ships off to New Orleans. But does Bogdanovic bring the star power that Giannis is looking for?

Milwaukee didn’t give up an arm and a leg for Bogdanovic, but the same can’t be said for their loot they sent New Orleans. Milwaukee is sending basically a first-born; Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and three first round picks. The Bucks receive Jrue Holiday, but the Pelicans basically just pulled off the AD trade 2.0. They absolutely poached the Bucks in a vulnerable situation to get a stockpile of assets they can use to keep filling out their roster. The downside? The Pelicans are drowning in picks, and have more young prospects than they know what to do with. However, we are trashing on the Bucks’ poor management today, the Pelicans are for another day.

Do These Trades Help The Bucks?

Sacramento Kings offer max extension to Bogdan Bogdanovic | The Sacramento  Bee
Bogdan Bogdanovic was part of the 2 major NBA trade season moves the Bucks have made thus far.

Nope. No, they do not. Giannis entered the league excited about small market Milwaukee, not interested in the fandom and star power that came with the the league; he just wanted to play basketball. Not that his mindset about small markets has changed, but the dude wants a ring. Giannis is drifting away to actual playoff contenders, and the Bucks desperately hit the trade market to lure him back. The problem? Neither Bogdanovic or Holiday are superstars! Holiday is one of the most reliable players in the league, and I was really hoping Danny Ainge was going to get him up to Boston for me. However, Holiday is not a James Harden, Ben Simmons, Gordon Hayward, or any other big name at the subject of rumors. And, he would have fit better elsewhere (although I am biased to ship Hayward out the door).

The Bucks’ Problem? (Of Many)

There’s one distinct problem here that the Bucks haven’t addressed. No one is asking to go play for them like they are to the Lakers, the Nets, the Clippers. Giannis is looking at all of these super-teams forming every year and wonders, as the best player in the league, why can’t he have that? It only makes sense he considers taking matters into his own hands. But did Milwaukee handle this NBA trade season correctly? Absolutely not. They rushed, they did not take time to hear Giannis’ concerns, and Giannis quite frankly put pressure on them that may have put them worse off in the long-term. Three first round picks gone? The Rockets haven’t picked in the first round since 2015 and what are they doing now?

THEIR STAR PLAYERS ARE LITERALLY RACING TO BE TRADED. If the Bucks think Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic are the bandaids to keep Khris Middleton and Giannis in Milwaukee, they have another thing coming. Giannis’ supermax is a five-year extension; without a new coach and a real superstar, there is absolutely he makes it the five years in Milwaukee before he falls into the super-team trap.

Is this actually enough to get Giannis to stay? Let me know on Twitter @swalshy63 and check out my other great Belly Up Sports content!

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Shannon Walsh

Growing up five minutes away from Gillette Stadium, I will bring my Boston sports passion to the grave with me. Now living in Washington, DC, I have a soft-spot for their messy sports act too.

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