Yet another season for the Milwaukee Bucks ended in disappointment, as the team was knocked out of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-final against the Miami Heat in just five games. Giannis Antetokounmpo's injury did play a part, but a relatively insignificant one, given the team was already 0-3 down by then. Many NBA trade rumors have suggested improvements to the squad over the offseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks have promised to make some moves to get Giannis Antetokounmpo more help. On the other hand, there have been NBA trade rumors hinting at the possibility of the Greek Freak leaving for greener pastures. The Milwaukee Bucks have a good team with an All-Star in Khris Middleton to support Giannis Antetokounmpo.
However, they lack experienced leaders in the dressing room who can help the rest of the team focus in moments of extreme pressure.
NBA Trade Rumors: The Milwaukee Bucks have no choice but to take on Chris Paul's contract
The most common name in the NBA trade rumors regarding the Milwaukee Bucks has been that of 35-year-old point guard Chris Paul. Although they already have a very decent point guard starting for them in Eric Bledsoe, his drop in performances when the post-season arrives causes massive concern.
He has averaged fewer points in the playoffs than he did in the regular season in all of the three years he has spent with the Milwaukee Bucks. He has also shot much worse from the field.
Moreover, Bledsoe has gotten worse as a scorer with every passing season, as he has depreciated from being an 18 points per game scorer to not even managing 15 points per game right now. Eric Bledsoe's defense has also dropped in terms of intensity, as he no longer averages over a steal a game. While the 30-year-old remains a pretty decent defender, his offensive shortcomings leave a lot to be desired.
Chris Paul's career stats
Career points per game - 18.5Career assists per game - 9.5
Career rebounds per game - 4.5
Career field goal % - 47.1%
Career 3pt % - 37.0%
Known as the 'point god' by many, Chris Paul is a man who needs no introduction. The 6'1" guard will retire as one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, irrespective of how the rest of his career pans out. However, there's no doubt that he'd want to retire with an NBA championship to his name.
Chris Paul, even at 35, is head and shoulders above Eric Bledsoe as a player. He is a better scorer, more of a threat from outside, a superior playmaker, and a better leader. He isn't as athletic as Eric Bledsoe, but the five-year difference in age does have a lot to do with that.
This season, Chris Paul averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game on 49% shooting from the field. Interestingly, the average of 6.7 assists per game is the lowest in Chris Paul's career. In fact, it is even lower than what he mustered in his rookie season - a solid 7.8 assists per game.
Yet that figure is higher than Eric Bledsoe has ever managed in his entire career. This speaks volumes about how much more fluidity the Milwaukee Bucks will have in offense with a legendary floor general like Chris Paul.
As mentioned before, Chris Paul is also a very legitimate threat from the three-point range, unlike Eric Bledsoe. Paul has a career 3-point field goal percentage of 37%, much higher than Bledsoe's 33.6%, despite taking fewer attempts.
Although Chris Paul averaged a career-low in steals with 1.6 per game on the defensive end, it is still significantly higher than Bledose's 0.9.
NBA Trade Rumors: How do the Milwaukee Bucks stump up the cash for Chris Paul?
The acquisition of Chris Paul would be vital in determining the future of the Milwaukee Bucks organization. He has the potential to carry the franchise past the hurdle that even Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn't managed.
It is by no means a clear-cut route to the NBA Finals, but it does give the franchise a much greater chance of getting there. More importantly, Chris Paul's signing could convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay and continue to believe in the Milwaukee Bucks' project.
As for the Oklahoma City Thunder, they would be receiving a very good player in Eric Bledsoe. The Milwaukee Bucks might have to give up a few more players though, given Chris Paul is on an enormous contract worth $85 million over the next two seasons.
George Hill and D.J. Wilson are two players who could be included in this trade. This trade would allow the Thunder to get rid of Chris Paul's contract while taking on a similar amount in more easily tradeable pieces.
Published 17 Sep 2020, 03:00 IST