NBA Trade Deadline: Who Stays and Goes for the Milwaukee Bucks?

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IFebruary 10, 2010

PHOENIX - JANUARY 11:  Luke Ridnour #13 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 11, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Rockets 118-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There is a buzz in Milwaukee over the Bucks. Granted, it is nothing near the buzz that the Packers or Brewers create, but there is a buzz nonetheless.

Although they took a tough loss against the Pistons last night, they are still in the middle of the NBA playoff hunt, currently sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They are a game behind the Miami Heat for the eighth spot and only 4.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the fifth spot.

Given their current position, most fans feel the Bucks should be adding a player or two at the trade deadline to make a playoff push, but that scenario won't likely come to fruition. It's a tough pill to swallow for fans of the team, but the future still looks very bright for a young Bucks roster.

While there are several players unlikely to be traded at the deadline, there are only two real untouchables on this team: Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut. For better or worse, those two are the cornerstones of the franchise for the foreseeable future.

Other players that will likely not be traded include Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jodie Meeks, and Ersan Ilyasova. Michael Redd won't be traded because of his injury, and Jerry Stackhouse can't be traded since he hasn't been with the team for three months.

The loss of Michael Redd once again hurts the Bucks, not because he can't play for the team, but because of the inability to trade the oft-injured star.

Luke Ridnour is most likely to be traded. He has played very well for the Bucks coming off the bench this season, and his expiring contract at the end of the season is very attractive to many teams.

Joe Alexander, Francisco Elson, Hakim Warrick, and Kurt Thomas all have expiring contracts and could be moved at the deadline as well. None are top-notch talents, but a team could take a chance on Alexander, who never fully got a chance in Milwaukee.

There is a recent rumor that has surfaced involving the Bucks and the Indiana Pacers. The Bucks are said to have interest in power forward Troy Murphy. Murphy is under contract through next year, but he would bring another solid big man to the Bucks on the offensive end of the court.

The Pacers would look to take on some of those expiring contracts to make a push at a big-time free agent this summer.

A proposed trade of Troy Murphy and Travis Diener for Luke Ridnour, Joe Alexander, and Kurt Thomas would work financially for both teams and be a great public relations trade for the Bucks as well.

The Bucks would get the talented Murphy, who would team with Bogut and Mbah a Moute to give the Bucks a talented and athletic front court, playing both solid defense and giving them a more versatile offense.

Bogut and Murphy could work the high-low game on the offensive end, something that Bogut is very good at doing given his great passing skills for a big man. Murphy would also be a solid jump shooter, giving Brandon Jennings more room to operate in open space and allow him to become a more dangerous point guard creatively.

Acquiring Diener as a backup point guard would bring the former Marquette star back to Milwaukee and generate interest from a public relations point of view. Diener may not be as talented as Ridnour, but he could still be a valuable member of the Bucks' bench.

Even if the Bucks don't make a move before the deadline, they will see almost $18 million in contracts come off their books this summer.

Acquiring a player like Troy Murphy may hinder thoughts the front office may have about signing a big-name free agent this summer, but the thought of any big-name free agent coming to Milwaukee is almost ludicrous.

If Bucks GM John Hammond can bring someone with Murphy's talent to the team, he should seize that chance. The Bucks can then continue to add pieces in the draft and bring in bench players in free agency.

To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here .