$45 Million Champion Wing Floated as ‘Dream Fit’ for Bucks

Bruce Brown

Getty Bruce Brown

To get back to the top, the Milwaukee Bucks must consider every possible option at their disposal. That includes getting rid of mainstays for something potentially better. Someone who could make them better is Bruce Brown.

Brown, who won a title with the Denver Nuggets in 2023, was named among the NBA’s hidden gems by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. O’Connor explained Brown’s appeal as a player.

“Brown is a super versatile defender, a tone-setter, a rebounder, and a scrappy do-it-all maestro on offense. Every team should want Bruce Brown,” O’Connor wrote.

He then explained why Brown is a “dream fit” for the Bucks and how they could trade for him.

“There are rumblings that the Bucks would like to play a more versatile style of defense next season, which raises the question of whether Brook Lopez has a future there. Trading Brook Lopez for Brown is a perfect match of salaries, and then the Raptors could flip Lopez elsewhere. The amount of screening and cutting Brown could do in support of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard would be glorious to watch.”

Brown will likely enter the second year of a two-year, $45 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors and Bucks will pay Brown and Lopez $23 million, respectively, for the 2024-25 season. Hence, they can strike a deal.

Bruce Brown Likely to Find New Team: Reports

O’Connor added that Brown will likely play for a new team before the 2024-25 season starts.

“League sources expect the Raptors to pick up Brown’s option this summer and then look to trade him, which comes as no surprise considering he will be 28 next season and the Raptors are rebuilding.”

He was not the first to report Brown’s likely upcoming trade. The Toronto Star’s Doug Smith first reported the strong possibility of Toronto trading him.

“The Raptors have until June 29 (two days after the draft) to exercise an option on the $23 million (U.S.) he’s owed next season — a valuable expiring contract to put on the market.

“The sense from a handful of league sources is that the Raptors are likely to pick up the option, then turn around and deal Brown quickly rather than wait until the 2025 trade deadline,” Smith wrote in a May 17 story.

The Bucks will cross the NBA’s second tax apron, pending any surprises. Hence, the Bucks can only trade for him using one contract as a matching salary.

What a Bruce Brown Trade Would do for Bucks

Trading for Brown for Lopez obviously makes the Bucks smaller. It would make Giannis Antetokounmpo their center full-time unless they make another trade. Whether or not it would make them better

The Bucks must consider other factors at play. First, Lopez is 36 years old and will only continue to age. As impressive as he is, he won’t keep this up for much longer. Second, the formula they have with their team has not worked for the last three years. Since winning the title, the Bucks have come away with one playoff series victory, which was back in 2022.

Some of that is not their fault. Injuries have gotten in their way. However, losing in the first round for two consecutive years is a bad sign. Trading Lopez for Brown doesn’t automatically make the Bucks the favorites, but it could be a welcome change for them.

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