Proposed Trade Reunites Bucks With $26 Million NBA Champion

Gary Payton II

Getty Gary Payton II

For the second consecutive season, the Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated in the playoffs’ first round. Knowing their title goals, it might be time to make a trade or two.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed one that could potentially get them back into title contention. Better yet, it’s with a familiar face. Buckley proposed the following trade with the Golden State Warriors.

Bucks receive: Gary Payton II, Moses Moody, No. 52 pick in 2024 NBA Draft, 2026 second-round pick (via Hawks)

Warriors receive: Bobby Portis, Andre Jackson Jr.

Buckley revolved the trade primarily around the Bucks getting Moody. However, he added what value such a deal could give Milwaukee.

“Some would argue this deal doesn’t significantly change the Bucks. That’s a fair criticism for now, but this deal could unlock the possibility of significant change in the near-future.”

He also added what the Bucks would get with Payton.

“Beyond Moody, the Bucks would get a lockdown point-of-attack defender and a pair of second-round picks to take to the trade market.”

Payton began his career with the Bucks in 2016 and played sparingly until 2018. He bounced around in the league before finding his footing with the Warriors. Payton went on to help the Warriors win a title in 2022. His father, Gary Payton, also played for the Bucks.

He will enter the final year of a three-year, $26 million contract.

Grant Williams Said Bucks Trade Almost Happened

Grant Williams, who once helped end the Bucks season, was apparently close During his appearance on NBA on TNT, the Charlotte Hornets forward confirmed a trade between the Bucks and Dallas Mavericks almost happened.

“We figured out what team would look the best, and Charlotte was the best opportunity,” Williams said. “I think the only other team that probably would’ve been an option was Milwaukee, but the deal fell through.”

NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that Portis came up in trade talks regarding Williams.

“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 provided an update revealing that Portis wasn’t on the table. More than that, a trade for Williams would have required more moving parts.

“One source briefed on the process, confirming discussions between the teams after this story posted, indicated that Milwaukee is unwilling to swap Portis for Williams straight up, meaning that a simple one-for-one trade construction would likely have to be expanded to include other players to advance these talks.”

Williams is likely off the table, but there’s no telling what’s to come with Payton.

The Bucks’ Trade Restrictions

Entering the NBA’s second salary tax apron, the Bucks have some restrictions. One of them is that they can’t combine salaries in a trade.

This means that if the Bucks were to trade Portis, they couldn’t combine him with Andre Jackson to make a trade for Payton. However, if they get below the NBA’s second tax apron, that restriction goes away.

It would be tricky to do that because the Bucks have several expensive contracts on their roster. It would also be harder to find better players on cheaper contracts.

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