Bucks Land Nets’ Royce O’Neale In NBA Trade Proposal

Royce O'Neale, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

For some NBA teams, the bar is especially high. Typically, we’re talking about contenders who recently made a major move. If those teams are low on assets, they’re essentially in championship-or-bust mode. 

Take the Milwaukee Bucks. This team acquired Damian Lillard to start the year. When they did so, the bar was raised. The Bucks can’t be content with a strong regular season. If they don’t advance to the NBA Finals, some will see their season as a failure. 

The Bucks have had a strong season. They’re the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Yet, the Bucks are viewed as being a bit underwhelming. Could acquiring Royce O’Neale from the Brooklyn Nets help? 

NBA Trade Proposal 

Brooklyn Nets Receive: F/C Bobby Portis, G/F MarJon Beauchamp, 2024 Second-Round Pick (POR via MIL), 2027 Second-Round Pick (MIL) 

Milwaukee Bucks Receive: F Royce O’Neale, G Dennis Smith Jr. 

The Nets know all about high expectations. It wasn’t long ago that they raised the bar immeasurably high. The Nets built one of the most talented rosters we’ve ever seen on an NBA floor. 

Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The Nets were guaranteed a title, right? How could they lose? Barring an injury, they needed to start preparing for the parade – didn’t they? 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

No. The superteam fell short and quickly disbanded. The Bucks should treat this as a lesson. No matter what the expectations are, they won’t necessarily be met. Does this deal help them meet their new bar? 

Why The Milwaukee Bucks Do The Deal 

Don’t sell the addition of Smith Jr. short. When the Bucks acquired Lillard, they parted with Jrue Holiday. That was a reasonable move to make, but it did hurt their point-of-attack defense. Smith Jr. is excellent in that area. 

Still, O’Neale is the real prize here. He’s a versatile defensive wing who spaces the floor. O’Neale is a solid secondary passer as well. He’s a valuable rotation piece who will make the Nets a better team. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

They’ll miss Portis. The Bucks may have to grab a veteran off the waiver wire to replace his minutes as their backup 5. At the same time, adding O’Neale will make it easier to run lineups featuring Giannis Antetokoumnpo at that position. Should the Nets help them get more versatile? 

Why The Brooklyn Nets Do The Deal 

Since that superteam disbanded, the bar has been considerably lower in Brooklyn. This team is not expected to be a title contender. At this point, they’re at risk of missing the playoffs. 

Perhaps that’s why it’s heavily rumored that O’Neale is available. In all likelihood, the Nets could get more draft capital for him elsewhere. Still, the Nets owe their next several first-round picks to the Houston Rockets. They may prefer a trade that keeps them relevant while also improving their future. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

That’s the goal here. Adding a stretch big man like Portis will make it easier for the Nets to lean on Ben Simmons. Meanwhile, Beauchamp is a young player with an impressive upside. In time, he could help the Nets raise the bar once again. 

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