Will Bledsoe Help the Bucks?

The Bucks traded Greg Monroe away for Eric Bledsoe. I like this move, mostly, and think it helps the Bucks. Let's run down some reactions to the trade.

Major Positive: Bledsoe is a significant upgrade from Matthew Dellavedova

Check out the player comparison engine for Dellavedova vs. Bledsoe in 2016-2017 Here.

Last season, on limited minutes, Bledsoe was worth six more wins than Dellavedova! And importantly that's because we think Bledsoe is a productive point guard, and Dellavedova is not. Bledsoe is pretty much above average at everything, with a slightly higher turnover rate, while Dellavedova is average at passing and below average at everything else. Delly was a weakness on the Bucks, so Bledsoe is just a straight upgrade here. With, of course, the caveat that he plays close to his previous levels. He's returning from injury, and thanks to Phoenix's mismanagement, we haven't really gotten to see him play this season.

Negative: Monroe is good.

I've never quite understood the Bucks and Monroe. They snaked him away from the Pistons, where he had been playing well. Then they proceeded to play him fewer minutes and relegate him to a bench role. He was still productive in his two full seasons with the Bucks. This season he's gotten even fewer minutes, and his play has gone down. I don't like to see him go, but, basically, if you aren't going to play a player, it makes sense to trade them into a position you need help with.

Positive: The Bucks might have a good starting five

Bledsoe, Brogdon, Snell, Giannis, and Henson (for the love of god Henson, not Maker!) are all above average players and make the Bucks starting five pretty good, especially as Giannis is a legit MVP player. But that's going to lead us to our next point ...

Negative: The Bucks still have some bad players getting too many minutes.

Last season the Bucks gave tons of minutes to Mirza Teletovic and Jabari Parker (and Dellavedova, but that's not an issue now), who played horribly. This season Thon Maker and Teletovic are getting minutes and playing quite poorly. This has been the Bucks m.o. for a few seasons now, and it's still a problem. But some good news there. If the Bucks bench sucks, it'll matter much less in the playoffs, and the East is weak. That said, still something they need to work on.

Just an observation: Where is Khris Middleton?

Jabari Parker once looked like the rookie of the year, before going down with injuries. He has never quite returned to form. Khris Middleton was an above average player for most of his career but missed most of last season. He hasn't been good this season. If Middleton returns to form, he's a reliable sixth man to a good squad. If not, he's another liability. It's still early in the season, so I'll wait a bit before passing judgment.

Final Verdict?

A solid trade by a team to shore up a major weakness. Helps their regular season standings, and greatly helps their playoff chances. Here's hoping they build on the momentum to fix their bench.