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Milwaukee Bucks Out Of The Chris Paul Sweepstakes?

Milwaukee Bucks Out Of The Chris Paul Sweepstakes?

When the Milwaukee Bucks got eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, it seemed like all but a foregone conclusion that roster changes were coming.

Giannis Antetokounmpo needed help – and a very specific kind of help.

Milwaukee’s postseason run exposed a desperate necessity for an offensive playmaker who possessed smarts, poise and an understanding of how to win.

Naturally, Chris Paul seemed like the perfect fit.

Paul was coming off one of his most impressive seasons in years. Somehow, he guided a young Oklahoma City Thunder group that nobody was expecting much from to a near upset of a Houston Rockets squad that some viewed as a dark horse to make the Western Conference Finals (spoiler alert: they didn’t make the Western Conference Finals).

Unfortunately, despite how much fun this season was, due to OKC’s average player age and clear rebuilding direction, it does not make a ton of sense for 35-year-old Paul to continue with the organization.

Thunder GM Sam Presti will almost certainly trade him this offseason, and the Bucks seem like the perfect partner.

Or at least they did.

According to Sam Amick and Eric Nehm of The Athletic, Paul to Milwaukee is increasingly looking like a no go.

“Sources with knowledge of ownership’s thinking said it is highly unlikely,” they wrote.

“The cost of bringing him aboard — Paul is owed $41.3 million next season and has a player option worth $44.2 million in the 2021-22 campaign — and the potential difficulty of bringing Paul onto a roster already led by a strong personality in Antetokounmpo seems to limit the chances of the Bucks moving to pair the two All-Stars. All indications are that the Bucks would rather look elsewhere.”

Paul is obviously owed a lot of money and isn’t getting any younger. That said, it is hard to understand the rationale here from Milwaukee’s perspective.

Multiple reports have indicated that the team is willing to trade away Eric Bledsoe in favor of someone with more offensive pizzazz. What he brought to the table defensively last year is precisely what Paul brings to the table offensively on a regular basis.

Paul would immediately alleviate some of Antetokounmpo’s offensive burden, all the while making life much easier for the likes of Khris Middleton and whoever doesn’t get shipped off to Oklahoma City in the prospective deal.

The Bucks need to get better. The last two years have proven that this is a team built for regular season success, not postseason success. Paul would change that.

Antetokounmpo is going to be a free agent next summer, and if Milwaukee doesn’t do something major to address the team’s weaknesses, it will be very difficult to make the case to him that management is actively trying to upgrade the roster.

The Bucks have to do something, and there are few moves available to them that would be more impactful than bringing Paul onto the roster.

Related: Kevin Durant Gets Very Honest About Giannis Antetokounmpo Winning MVP

Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.

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