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Milwaukee Bucks' chances of winning the East are dwindling after PJ Tucker deal

P.J. Tucker with Milwaukee Bucks in the background

  • PJ Tucker was traded at Milwaukee Bucks for DJ Augustine, DJ Wilson and was selected in the first round of 2023.
  • Tucker's ability to switch back and his three-point corner shooting will be of great help to the Bucks in their quest to win the NBA title.
  • Aside from a key frontcourt veteran, the Bucks have waived luxury taxes, ditching DJ Augustin, DJ Wilson and Torrey Craig.

The Milwaukee Bucks increased their chances of winning the Eastern Conference by swapping for senior bigman PJ Tucker.

Tucker has long demanded an exchange from the Rockets, asking to be transferred to a rival team. After a long wait, Houston finally fulfilled his wish by sending him to the Bucks, which are currently third in the NBA Eastern Conference team event.

Milwaukee ditched DJAugustin, DJ Wilson, and an unprotected pick in the first round of 2023 in favor of the Rockets. In return, the Bucks got Tucker, Rodion Kurucha, and their own pick in the first round of 2022, which had previously been traded for Houston.

Following this move, the Bucks moved from +290 to win the East, to +275 after Tucker's PJ trade, narrowing the gap between them and the odds on the beloved Brooklyn Nets, currently listed on Bovada at +125. Milwaukee are currently 1.5 games behind Brooklyn and Philadelphia and have the second-best odds to beat the East.

Improving Bucks Defense

Despite their offseason actions, the Bucks felt they still had work to do, especially on defense. Milwaukee's dwindling coverage has been exposed in the last two post-seasons, and it is for this reason that the Bucks have had more pick-and-rolls at this stage of the season than in the entire 2019-20 campaign. But this has brought mixed results, especially because Brooke Lopez and Bobby Portis are too slow to participate in this scheme.

The Bucks needed a more switchable defender and there was no better on the market than Tucker, who was a small center with the Rockets during Mike D & #039; Antoni's ball experiment. Tucker's reputation as a defended wing makes him the ideal player to change enemy guards without delay.

Defensively aside, Tucker was a consistent three-pointer from corner to the current campaign. He has made 39% of those shots in the previous four seasons, but this season he has just 33.8% of deep shots. But if the Bucks can replicate the open shots that Tucker got with Harden when they played together in Houston, he might as well contribute to the attack.

Also cost reduction

In addition to acquiring a veteran who can contribute during the playoffs, the Bucks have also tweaked their ledgers with trading. From $ 441,539 below the hard cap, the Bucks added more wiggle room by slashing the salaries of DJ Wilson ($ 4.5 million), DJ Augustin ($ 6.7 million and $ 1.6 million) Torrey Craig.

After the deal, Milwaukee is now $ 1.25 million below the luxury tax line, has $ 3.5 million in an extra room, and could add more if they move Kurucha to a team that can take over his contract using a gap or exclusion. for exchange. This gives them more options to operate in the buyout market if they so desire.

There are now 13 players on the Bucks roster, 12 if they deal out Kuruchi, and there are two weeks from the date of the trade to get to 14 players. The prorated minimum wage is now $ 677,085, so the Bucks can add a season-end contract to their roster that won't push them off the luxury tax line.

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