Bucks Have Held ‘Exploratory Discussions’ for $54 Million Ex-Celtic: Report

Jon Horst

Getty Jon Horst

Despite the limited assets at their disposal, the Milwaukee Bucks want help. To get help, they may look to a former playoff rival and Boston Celtics alum. NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Bucks have looked into acquiring Grant Williams from the Dallas Mavericks.

“The Bucks and Mavericks, league sources say, have held exploratory discussions on a trade that would swap Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. and Dallas newcomer Grant Williams,” Stein reported in a February 5 story.

Stein then explained why the Bucks have interest in Williams despite things not having gone as planned in Dallas.

“Williams’ first season in Dallas has been undeniably disappointing, but his ability to guard a wide variety of players is said to intrigue Milwaukee, which is known to be searching for defensive upgrades.”

Stein reported that the Bucks’ chances of improving hinge on how willing they are to trade Portis.

“The Bucks’ ability to make a trade of consequence before Thursday’s deadline likely depends on its willingness to part with Portis or Pat Connaughton, both members of their 2021 title team.”

Williams helped the Celtics beat the Bucks in the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Williams’ most notable contribution was hitting seven three-pointers that helped the Celtics eliminate the Bucks.

Williams is in the first year of a four-year $54 million contract with the Mavericks.

Bucks Interested in Isaac Okoro: Report

Grant Williams isn’t the only player the Bucks have looked into. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that the Bucks have interest in Cleveland Cavaliers wing Isaac Okoro in a February 5 story.

Scotto explained why the Cavaliers might be apprehensive about giving Okoro a raise this coming offseason.

“In order to retain Okoro and keep the rest of their roster intact, the Cavaliers now have to consider their appetite for going into the tax for the 2024-25 season amid uncertainty surrounding Mitchell’s long-term future in Cleveland.”

He added that the Bucks are among the multiple teams who would want him at the trade deadline.

“Okoro is expected to draw interest at the trade deadline. The Knicks, Hawks, Pacers, Suns, and Bucks are all teams to closely monitor as all are known to have interest in acquiring a two-way wing.”

Even if the Bucks want him, the Cavaliers may not want to help a division rival with title aspirations. Because someone like Grant Williams plays for the Mavericks, trading for him seems more realistic than Okoro.

Bucks ‘Staying Aggressive’ on Trade Market: Report

Yahoo Sports! Jake Fischer reported the Bucks’ aggression to improve their roster in a February 5 story.

“After switching head coaches midseason, the Bucks remain committed to improving their roster, Fischer reported. “Shopping hard for help’ as described by one league source with knowledge of the situation.”

Though Stein mentioned Grant Williams as an option, Fischer added who else they could trade Portis for.

“Bobby Portis would need to be included for Milwaukee to chase a bigger-salary player like Dejounte Murray, Bruce Brown, or Andrew Wiggins.”

Those are bigger names than Grant Williams, but the Bucks’ limited assets, by extension, limit who they can acquire.

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