The Bucks have signalled their interest in trading for point guard Eric Bledsoe as the team looks to become one of the best sides in the eastern conference.
The Bucks have a few different trade chips available in the chase for Phoenix point guard Eric Bledsoe. The former Kentucky guard has the ability to switch onto bigger players with his long wingspan and when he wants to, he can lock in to be one of the better defensive point guards.
The Suns have some cap space and plenty of holes on their roster, however, they do have a full list and therefore would have to waive a player in order to take on a two-for-one deal. Davon Reed or Troy Daniels look like the most likely ones to be waived if that's the route that the Suns take.
What do the Suns want?
Well, a combination of a player on their timeline, getting rid of bad contracts and picks would be the starting point for Phoenix owner Robert Sarver. Alternatively, the Suns could look to take on more bad contracts in order to get additional picks.
The Starting Point
The Suns are certainly going to want either Thon Maker or Malcolm Brogdon. It depends on how the Bucks see the situation, but it would be more likely that the Bucks would part with Brogdon of the two options. He turns 25 in December, so while he isn't super young, he still fits on the Suns' timeline. He can play some defense and take some pressure off Devin Booker, so that makes sense for Phoenix. There were reports that Thon Maker and Greg Monroe could be involved in a package for Bledsoe, but that doesn't really make sense for the Bucks. DJ Wilson is an alternative that the Bucks could offer up, but it's unclear as to whether the Suns have any interest in him.
Making it balance
The Bucks will need to involve one of Mirza Teletovic, Greg Monroe or John Henson in order to make salaries match. Monroe has the most value to the Suns, as he only has one year left on his contract and he can play alongside Dragan Bender or Marquese Chriss and take some offensive pressure off them. The Bucks would probably prefer to trade Henson or Teletovic, as both contracts are somewhat unpalatable and neither of them adds that much value to this current squad.
The Bucks are in a good spot picks-wise. The only pick that they owe to any team is their 2019 second-round pick to either Philadelphia or Sacramento. They have all their other picks as well as a 2018 second-round pick from Dallas, a 2019 second-round pick from Denver and a 2020 second-round pick from Washington.
With all that said, here are three hypotheticals that could get it done for the Bucks.
Greg Monroe+Thon Maker+2018 second-round pick
If the Bucks are reluctant to give up a first-round pick, Monroe and Maker would surely get the deal across the line with either their own or Dallas' second-rounder. This would leave the Bucks with Henson as their starting center, but they could take back someone like Alex Len potentially.
Mirza Teletovic+Malcolm Brogdon+2018 lottery protected first-round pick
The Bucks are off and running this season, but a sudden injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo could sour the season. If the Bucks are going to throw in a first-rounder alongside either Brogdon or Maker, that pick has to have lottery protection.
John Henson+Malcolm Brogdon+two second-round picks
The Bucks have a range of second-round picks available to put in a trade and this should certainly be the way Milwaukee begin negotiations. The Bucks have a few candidates that they could turn to for internal growth, but with Jabari Parker's contract coming up soon, Milwaukee must ensure they have cost-controlled assets coming in to fall back on. Getting off Henson's contract and not giving out a first-round pick would be ideal for the Bucks. This trade would also work if Maker takes Brogdon's place, but it'll really come down to whether the Suns can get a better offer elsewhere.