The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team during the regular season, and it looked like they were poised for Championship contention and that they were going to give the Golden State Warriors a lot of trouble in the Finals.
Then, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors happened. Right after the Bucks got a 2-0 lead over the Canadian franchise, Leonard led the team to a 4-game winning streak to take the ECF in six games and make it to the Finals for the first time in their history.
But, as they face a major offseason, things could look quite different for the Milwaukee Bucks to start the 2019-20 campaign. Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic are bound to enter free agency, and Khris Middleton is likely to ask for a max contract.
The Bucks were incredibly fun to watch all season long and vastly dominated in both ends of the hardwood but eventually fell short of their goal. However, there’s not much they can do to get much better ahead of next season, but we’ll let you know about the moves they need to do in the summer:
5. Resign Malcolm Brogdon
Malcolm Brogdon is not exactly a guy that will impress you with his athleticism or flashy plays, but he rarely makes any mistakes and is a great contributor in all aspects of the game for Mike Budenholzer’s team.
Brogdon is set to become a restricted free agent and he’ll definitely draw a lot of interest around the league. He’s not likely to be overpaid, so the Buck should match any offers they get for their versatile combo guard.
4. Trade Tony Snell
Tony Snell hasn’t been much of a productive player for the Milwaukee Bucks ever since being traded for the Chicago Bulls, and this team doesn’t actually need him. His contributions have been close to zero, so they need to move him right away.
Snell is not likely to get much interest around the league and he’s not truly a valuable asset, but the Bucks need to clear salary cap space, and they’re likely to have to pair him with a 2nd round pick if they want to get rid of him.
3. Resign Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez was a major part of the Milwaukee Bucks’ success this season. He allowed them to go big, yet have an all-shooters lineup when Mike Budenholzer needed them, so they must convince him to stay with the team.
Lopez is likely going to have to take a major pay cut once again to stay with the Bucks, but with his talents and their core, this team could be in the mix for another Championship run next season. Run it back, Brook.
2. Free Agent Targets
Milwaukee Bucks don’t have too much money to spend this summer, but they can offer a mid-level contract or some minimum contracts if they want to add more depth this summer.
Just when it looked like Kenneth Faried’s career was over, he balled his heart out with the Houston Rockets and proved that he’s got what it takes to be a solid contributor in this league, even if he’s coming off the bench.
Faried could allow this team to go small with him as the big man down low, and while he doesn’t have much range, he could help them take up the pace and run from time to time with his speed, hops, and athleticism.
Ed Davis is not the guy whose impact reflects in the stat sheet, but he’s the kind of player every coach would love to have on his team because of the heart, energy, hustle, and grit he plays with on a nightly basis.
Davis could really help them fix their rim-protection woes in the second unit. He’s got a lot of energy and is a solid rim-running big man as well. He may not be the most gifted of scorers, but he makes up for it with his impact on defense.
Jeremy Lamb is never going to be the volume scorer he thought he was going to be, but he’s slowly taking steps forward as one of the most productive backup and role players in the league, and he’s coming off a great year.
Lamb is never going to compete for a Championship unless he leaves the Charlotte Hornets, who aren’t likely to offer him a nice contract extension considering they’re going through a rebuild, so him joining the Bucks would be a win-win case-scenario.
Even at his age, Wesley Matthews is one of the league’s best 3-and-D kind of players, and that’s exactly the kind of players Mike Budenholzer should be looking for in the summer, especially if they come at a fair price.
Matthews will not likely resign with the Indiana Pacers as they’ll save more money to extend Domantas Sabonis and resign Bojan Bogdanovic, so the Bucks should pick up the phone and try to lure him to Milwaukee.
Rodney Hood was incredibly solid with the Portland Trail Blazers ever since completing a move out from the Cleveland Cavaliers, even though his health was a concern once again towards the end of the regular season and the playoffs.
Hood is that instant-offense kind of guy that could truly ball regardless of the team he plays for, at least, when focused. He could be this team’s 6th man, and he’d be a major upgrade over George Hill in terms of scoring.
1. Offer Khris Middleton The Max
Maybe Khris Middleton is no Jimmy Butler or Klay Thompson, but there’s a huge shortage of two-way 3-and-D players in the league right now, so the Bucks just can’t afford to let their other All-Star walk away in free agency.
The Bucks are likely to have to overpay for Khris Middleton’s services, but he’s definitely earned every single dime of his contract. He’s built a great rapport with Giannis Antetokounmpo as well, so give this man his money.