The Milwaukee Bucks have made no bones about the fact that they are looking to deal guard Gary Neal leading up to the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline, per Neal’s request. Neal has been seemingly unhappy with his role in Milwaukee and has said that he would like to be traded to a contender. It looks like the Bucks might have a suitor that can help make that happen.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported early on Monday that the Golden State Warriors were a team to watch out for leading up to the deadline. When asked about if Neal or Luke Ridnour were possible interests of the Warriors, Kyler said that they indeed were and that he “got the sense” that Golden State’s interest was in Neal.
Neal would quietly be a great addition to the Warriors who are looking to make a push in the Western Conference following the All-Star break. While the addition of Andre Iguodala and health of Andrew Bogut have made the Warriors a more solid defensive team, their offense has been noticeably less dynamic than it was last year. A big part of that is due to the absence of a dynamic guard off of the bench like Jarrett Jack was for them last season.
While trying to put Kent Bazemore and Toney Douglas in that role at various times this season, it hasn’t worked to the same effect as having Jack in that role. Though Neal is a different player than Jack, he could produce a more effective result in a similar role to what Jack played last year.
Neal has struggled in his first season with the Bucks, shooting only 38.9 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three. However, it’s plausible that he could turn things around on a contender and get closer to his career averages of 42.7 percent shooting and 39.3 percent three-point shooting.
Acquiring Neal, assuming they don’t give up much in a deal to get him, seems like a low-risk, high-reward move for the Warriors. Neal has the potential to revitalize Golden State’s offense if all goes well, but it won’t kill them if he doesn’t produce at that level. If I’m making calls in Golden State, I’ve got the Bucks on the phone trying to make this deal happen.