With Khris Middleton struggling from deep, should the Milwaukee Bucks trade for Josh Huestis?
October 31 is a wonderful day on the calendar. Children are trick-or-treating, and the NBA guarantee window closes. The Milwaukee Bucks decided they would not exercise Rashad Vaughan’s team option, which is ok. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder also decided not to exercise their option on Josh Huestis, and that may be quite interesting for the Bucks.
Huestis was drafted with the 29th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. He has struggled to find a niche on the Thunder roster over the last three years. Despite garnering more playing time this season, the Thunder are most likely going to part ways with the 6″7′ power forward at the end of the season, if not before.
Now, why would this interest the Milwaukee Bucks? The answer is simple. They need a plan for the event Khris Middleton continues to struggle from deep.
Anybody who has watched the Milwaukee Bucks this season would know Middleton is struggling from deep. Apart from the game against the Atlanta Hawks where he went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, Middleton is struggling to connect from 3.
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If you look at his season, Middleton is 6-of-29 from the land of plenty. This equates to a shooting percentage of just under 20.7 percent. Take out the Atlanta game and Middleton is shooting 3-of-26. This is an abysmal 11.5 percent.
The biggest problems with this is Middleton 3-point shot is crucial to the Bucks’ offens. With team leader Giannis Antetokounmpo having a less than reliable jump shot, teams are now packing the paint to stop him from scoring as much.
The Boston Celtics did it when they beat the Bucks. In the loss against the Thunder, they employed the same tactic. If Middleton is not able to punish the opposition by hitting his 3s, the Bucks offense will struggle.
When Huestis was drafted back in 2014, he was taken by the Thunder based on his defense. He has a tremendous vertical leap as shown by the two massive blocks in the preseason game against Melbourne United. It was these two blocks that allowed the Thunder to hold on against a very plucky United team.
However, Huestis has added more than that to his game. From 3-point range, Huestis has shot a respectable 39 percent for his career. While the sample size is small, there is a definite edge to Huestis’ game. He also possesses an athleticism that will fit really well on this Bucks team.
I am not suggesting Huestis replace Middleton; that would be ludicrous. Huestis would sit deep on the bench, only coming on if Middleton is struggling from deep to add the kind of spark the Milwaukee Bucks might need.
This season, Huestis is shooting 3-for-13 from deep (23.1 percent). This is not good, but the difference is Huestis is currently surrounded by tremendous 3-point shooters as is not getting the ball in the best situations.
The other reason I suggest Huestis is the expiring deal he is on. He will be working hard to get his next NBA contract and if things don’t work out, the Bucks have lost nothing. It is worth trying, otherwise Milwaukee will be chasing the eighth seed, hoping when Jabari Parker returns the damage done to the season has not been too great.