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Thread: Offseason Thread

  1. #1

    Offseason Thread

    Curious to see which way this offseason plays out. Do they run it back with the core guys and try to improve on the margins, or deal one or more of the core four guys and make a larger splash? Do they give Grayson another go or try to move him?

    If they do deal from the core, I think Brook might be on his way out. They get destroyed in drop coverage, and end up having to play small and switch to win in the playoffs.

    I think Bobby and Pat end up coming back. Wes back on a vet minimum deal.

    Would be curious to hear who everyone is interested in at 24 if they keep the pick. Maybe it's recency bias after Grant Williams swung the series, but EJ Liddell seems like he could fill that role for the Bucks.

  2. #2
    I think we win it all if Middleton was healthy, so no real need for big changes.

    Liddell is likely to be available for the Bucks. I'm interested in Baldwin too, as his height and length is tailor made for the NBA, just not sure if he has the game. A couple foreign players of interest, but they would likely not be ready to play serious minutes next season.

    If they want to keep Portis, you may see the Bucks moving Hill, as I think Portis may need a big boost in salary.

    I would consider keeping the core with Giannis, Middleton, Holiday, Lopez, Connaughton, Allen, Portis, Matthews. Anyone else could be moved.

  3. #3
    I concur with Goose, Bucks win the series against the Celtics (in 5 or 6) with a healthy Middleton. Milwaukee was up 3-2 without Middleton playing one second. Role reversal, imagine the Bucks with Middleton and the Celtics minus Jaylen Brown for the entire series. No way it goes 7 games.

    The Bucks need to be careful, not to change for the sake of change. I remember after Game 7 of the 2001 ECF, moving on from Scott Williams for Anthony Mason. Scott Williams had his faults, but he had a nice baseline jumper, was taller/longer and the ball did not stick when he got it. The ball stopped moving with Mason and it was the beginning of the unraveling. Big Dog traded, Ray Allen traded for GP.

    My initial thoughts:

    (1) Brook Lopez: In his final year (22-23) contractually for $13.9m. Fans and media seemed to agree that the Bucks needed Lopez to repeat as champions. The Bucks have been Top 5 in nearly every defensive statistical category since Bud and Brook arrived in 18-19. No coincidence they fell out of the Top 5 this past regular season when Brook was out.

    After the Game 7 loss to the Celtics, Brook becomes the hot name in terms of a player that the Bucks should maybe move on from. Credit the Celtics, they had an offensive game plan that exposed the Bucks (not having Middleton hurt here also). At age 34 and as a large post player, it is true that guys can decline around this time. However, the popular opinion was that you would need him against a guy like Embiid in the playoffs to not wear Giannis and/or Portis out.

    Hindsight 20/20, it would have been better picking up a player like Robert Covington (6'7", 6'8") at the trade deadline (could have also used Bembry's services defensively). A guy who would have given you more versatility defensively and could stretch the floor. Ibaka was insurance on Lopez, so understandable. I would be careful with Lopez. Maybe a team looking at a 3-4 year rebuild, like Indiana, where you could pry a Myles Turner from with the allure of Lopez's expiring contract (although Turner is in his final year also). How many teams in the East are willing to help the Bucks become better?

    (2) Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis: Both have player options for 22-23. Both are below their market value (Pat - $5.7m and Bobby - $4.5m). I think you do everything possible to keep both. Pat is 29 and Bobby is 27......both guys in the prime of their careers. The Bucks have Bird Rights to both players, so it is a matter of being willing to pay the luxury tax and how much. Hopefully, max out the length of the contract (4 years) with smaller hits per year. Obviously, nobody would blame Bobby walking for a huge offer. He bet on himself and ran it back. I could see it playing out where Pat stays and Bobby leaves.....but really hope they retain both.

    (3) Wes Matthews: Not what he once was but I would bring him back for the veteran's minimum. Defense, leadership and can still knock down the open 3.

    (4) George Hill: He has one year (22-23) remaining at $4m. Move on from him anyway possible. Expiring contract will be useful to some team. He provided no value, Bud was loyal from their time in San Antonio and first stint in Milwaukee but at a cost to the team IMO.

    (5) Hot Rumor to stay away from: Damian Lillard stating on social media that Giannis is the one player he would really like to play with in the NBA. No way you deal a Middleton and/or Holiday for Lillard. Lillard is a great scorer/shooter......but average defender, smaller and can't score in the post like Jrue.

    (6) Jon Leuer and Larry Sanders come off the books: $3.1m and $1.8m respectively, finally.

    (7) Big 3: Middleton's PO comes up first for 23/24, followed by Holiday's PO for 24/25 and Giannis' PO for 25/26. Next season, Middleton will be 31, Holiday 32 and Giannis will turn 28 (December). I think this is your core for the next 3-4 years and I am very happy with the 2-way ability, all-around game of each player. So crucial to get the pieces around them correct.

    (8) Draft: At #24, you can certainly get a good player and future starter. I see 3 types of players......High Ceiling/High Floor (Lottery Picks), High Ceiling/Low Floor (Highly rated prospects that drop, boom or bust theory.....i.e. Patrick Baldwin) and High Floor/Limited Ceiling (i.e. Malcolm Brogdon a few years ago). I like the High Floor/Limited Ceiling theory for the Bucks at #24. A proven guy over multiple years in a power conference. Granted, in each of the 3 categories, teams still get it wrong. Inexact science, every team misses on prospects. Just have to hit more than you miss. DJ Wilson and now looking like Jordan Nwora (who looked like another Malcolm Brogdon......Nwora was 1st-Team All-ACC) were misses.

    (9) Can you add a "3 and D" player 6'6" to 6'9": Last year, the best lineup at times for the Bucks was Giannis at center, Tucker, Middleton, Connaughton and Holiday. They could switch everything defensively and guard the 3-point line. Then offensively, the four around Giannis could space the floor for Giannis in the post or attacking the paint. Again, a guy in the mold of a Robert Covington would be a huge addition. More size and nastiness for deeper in the playoffs.

    Overall, Middleton's absence was the main reason for the loss against the Celtics, don't overreact and change for the sake of change. However, if the right deal presents itself, possibly with a rebuilding team, for Lopez, Allen, etc.....I wouldn't hesitate either. Jon Horst and the personnel department have plenty of time to do their homework and figure out some pieces to target around the NBA in potential deals. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.
    Last edited by MUFAN2003; 05-25-2022 at 02:01 PM.

  4. #4
    All good thoughts, 2003. They absolutely need to get bigger on the wings. Pat, Grayson, Hill, Wes were all in that 6-4ish range.

    The thing I'm struggling with in terms of their future is whether the blueprint works in the postseason. It worked in '21, with some major injury luck. But the issues offensively have been largely the same in their eliminations under Bud. Their outside shooting falls off a cliff, and the halfcourt offense goes to sh*t. I'm skeptical they can fix that with the financial constraints.

  5. #5
    Great stuff 2003.

    Adding back Middleton would be a big change that could help with the shooting. Obviously Middleton is a very good shooter, but I think one of the keys for a player like Allen is to be the fourth guy. With Giannis, Holiday and Middleton on the floor, there is less defensive attention on Allen, and in that case there is less pressure and I think he will be really good just with the spot up three pointer.

    I would think the Bucks owners should be good paying a few more bucks for Portis and Connaughton and in turn pay a few more in luxury tax.

  6. #6
    A promising rumor regarding Bobby Portis from Marc Stein:

    Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis can become a free agent this offseason if he bypasses a $4.6 million player option for 2022-23, but there is already tangible resignation from some interested teams that they won’t have any shot at luring Portis away from the Bucks. The expectation already in circulation is that Portis will re-sign with Milwaukee on a multi-year deal even if he does opt for free agency. (via Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MUFAN2003 View Post
    A promising rumor regarding Bobby Portis from Marc Stein:

    Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis can become a free agent this offseason if he bypasses a $4.6 million player option for 2022-23, but there is already tangible resignation from some interested teams that they won’t have any shot at luring Portis away from the Bucks. The expectation already in circulation is that Portis will re-sign with Milwaukee on a multi-year deal even if he does opt for free agency. (via Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com)
    Keep Portis and keep Connaughton. Bucks can afford it, and probably can't afford not to do so.

    Draft based on potential. Would like a 3 and D guy that can help this year, but hopefully they take who they think can be a player down the road.
    With that being said, any thoughts on who the Bucks may target?

  8. #8
    The NBA draft is a week away.

    I've seen a lot of different names going to the Bucks in various mock drafts. Any predictions or any players the Bucks are hopefully targeting?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Goose85 View Post
    The NBA draft is a week away.

    I've seen a lot of different names going to the Bucks in various mock drafts. Any predictions or any players the Bucks are hopefully targeting?
    No inside info here, but I think this pick gets dealt to add a wing.

    Bud is averse to playing rookies, or really anyone in their first few seasons. The pick might have more value in a trade.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MUfan12 View Post
    No inside info here, but I think this pick gets dealt to add a wing.

    Bud is averse to playing rookies, or really anyone in their first few seasons. The pick might have more value in a trade.
    Would we have to include someone like George Hill in a trade to offset salary due to our cap status?

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