The Bucks had a great 2018-2019 season with coach Budenholzer and Giannis was very happy with their performance. It’s typical for a great coach like Mike Budenholzer to have a great season and not much success in the post-season. We saw this in previous seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. Now he had a bigger challenge with MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and top seeded Eastern Conference team like the Milwaukee Bucks.
Earlier this week, Giannis said: “I want everybody back. Great frickin’ team.” They had a great team this year, but they can’t have the same one in order to win. They might have to figure out three scenarios to have a good free agency this summer.
Scenario 1: Brook Lopez or Nikola Mirotic?
The Bucks this summer are going to decide whether to keep Lopez or Mirotic. They should totally keep Brook Lopez because of the way Milwaukee is built. They are now a team that depends on their system, if their system isn’t working they won’t win much and Lopez was a great fit this year for the Bucks. Mirotic showed to be injury prone this season and the Bucks have to be ready for next year’s playoffs and not depend on injured players. If they let go Mirotic, players like Marcus Morris or Al-Farouq Aminu should come up as free agents they can sign.
Scenario 2: Khris Middleton A Flaw?
Here I can say is where the Bucks have their main flaw, finding Middleton’s role. If I could play GM, I wouldn’t sign him this free agency. Budenholzer hasn’t quite fit Khris in his system, he actually had a decent season becoming an All-Star, but still think he was a bit inconsistent. If they let go of him, I would look to sign Malcolm Brogdon as their new starting shooting guard. Brogdon, under the radar, has played outstanding putting aside his injuries. With Middleton leaving, they should add small forward capable of shooting the three like Trevor Ariza, DeMarre Carroll or Bogdan Bogdanovic. Any of these would be a great addition to their lineup, this way they give Bledsoe a deeper role to the team with Brogdon, Giannis, and Lopez in their lineup.
Scenario 3: Bench Depth
From their bench the only free agents are Frazier and Gasol. Their non-guaranteed contracts are George Hill, Pat Connaughton, and Sterling Brown. I would keep them all except Gasol because of his age. I saw many games of the Bucks this season and honestly think that their bench could beat some teams in the NBA. So bench, is not a problem for the Bucks. They should focus more on improving their starting lineup in order to win the Eastern Conference next year.
If they do this I think that they should come off easily with the crown in the East. The Raptors, Celtics, and 76ers have to figure out a lot of things in order to win next season. The Raptors may lose Kawhi Leonard even though they reached the finals. The Celtics may lose Kyrie Irving, which no one knows if that would make them better or worse. And the 76ers have a money problem with all that star power they added before free agency. All of these problems should make it an easier free agency for the Bucks to figure out their team’s best decision moving forward.