I doubt this trade happens, but it’s instructive on two fronts, so we’re going to talk about it.
The well-connected Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported sources told him the Warriors and Bucks have discussed trading backup big man JaVale McGee to Milwaukee.
“Multiple sources confirmed the Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks have discussed a trade. Nothing is imminent, but the Bucks are on the market for a center and the Warriors are overstocked. The on-and-off conversations between the teams have included the Bucks inquiring about [Zaza] Pachulia and [JaVale] McGee. No doubt, they’ve asked about [Jordan] Bell but that conversation ended quickly.”
Jordan Bell, who started on Christmas Day, looks like a valuable rotation player and is still on his rookie contract, no way the Warriors move him right now.
We’ll see if this trade happens, but here’s what we can take away:
The Bucks are in the market for a center. This isn’t a surprise, the only question is which guy they land — the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan or someone farther down the pecking order. (The question with Jordan may be if the Bucks can re-sign him as he is a free agent next summer.) The Bucks are wisely doing their due diligence, calling every team that might have an available center — Brook Lopez with the Lakers, his brother Robin Lopez with the Bulls, the Knicks Willy Hernangomez, heck even Memphis’ Marc Gasol (who is not available right now). When you ask people around the league the team most active in talks right now and most likely to make a deadline trade, the Bucks are at the top of the list. Look for them to make some kind of move for a big man (ideally, a rim protector) at the deadline.
The Warriors have an overstocked frontcourt and may be willing to move McGee for relatively little. The same Athletic story says McGee is not happy with his shrinking role (Kevon Looney got McGee’s usual run on Christmas Day, and Bell is squeezing McGee’s minutes, too), plus the fact the Warriors didn’t pay the veteran McGee what he thought he was worth this summer. It will take a lot more to get Pachulia out of Golden State (more than any team will pay), but McGee is available for the right price. Not saying he gets moved, just something to watch.