Bucks Lead

Milwaukee’s Offseason Outlook

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The Milwaukee Bucks and GM Jon Horst have arguably one of the most critical offseasons in the team’s history. With the team recently losing in six games to the Toronto Raptors, Horst will have a lot of tough decisions to make. He has the flexibility to pivot the organization in many different directions, making the Bucks offseason uncertain. With that said, let us take a look at some of the moves Horst can make this upcoming offseason.

Bledsoe’s Extension

Before we get into what the Bucks will be able to do this offseason, we first have to look at what Horst has already done. As many noted, the Bucks signed point guard Eric Bledsoe to a 4-year/$70 million contract extension earlier this year. With a partial guarantee the final year as broken down by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This contract is an absolute steal for the Bucks. They get to keep one of the best defensive guards in the NBA, who is also pretty good on offense, for less than $20 million a year. The contract also helps the Bucks because of the partial guarantee the last year. It will come to be very useful if the father of time takes Bledsoe. But maybe even more importantly the contract will be the cheapest this year. Now, it’s roughly $15.7 million. This benefit gives the Bucks a lot of flexibility this upcoming offseason.

Potential Cap Space For Bucks’ Offseason

Most of the team will be free agents this upcoming offseason. So, the Bucks will have a large amount of cap space to use. The team must decide whether to use it on their guys or go after free agents. Frank Madden did an excellent job of making a graphic for the upcoming offseason.

As you can see, the Bucks can have up to around $36.5 million in space after their guaranteed contracts and the dead money that they will still be paying. And according to Hoops Rumor, players with less than six years in their playing career will make around $27.3 million per year on a max contract and $32.7 for players who have played 7-9 years. The only players out of the Bucks’ price range are the ones who played 10+ years. This fact means that the Bucks will have cap space for a max free agent this year if desired.

It will also be essential to remember that the Bucks are close for the more expensive max contracts also. If they can unload Ersan Ilyasova or Tony Snell, they would be in the territory of anybody they wanted to go after.

Possible Moves This Bucks Offseason

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Image via Aaron Gash/AP Images

Malcolm Brogdon’s cap hold comes to $3 million this offseason, which is a perfect number to float. That brings their cap space down to $33.5 million. And I agree with what Madden said above; I think Brook Lopez will sign for the Mid Level Exception. So with Bledsoe, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract, Brogdon’s cap hold, and renouncing Lopez and signing him later the Bucks have every position in their starting five except for a small forward.

After considering these moves, this leaves them with the decision of Khris Middleton and Nikola Mirotic vs. a max free agent. And for me, the only player that would fit into the Bucks cap space, be able to play small forward, and be better than the combination of Middleton and Mirotic is Klay Thompson. This idea is a fantasy of a get for the Bucks but you never know, the NBA has had a lot of surprises. With that said the Bucks could reach out to Thompson and see if he’s even interested. If not it will be an easy decision for Horst to bring back Middleton and Mirotic.

Who Wants To Sign?

Their other avenue could be to reach out to Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant and see if they would sign for a little less. Or as I noted above, they could trade Snell or Ilyasova to get to the number they need. This all hinges on whether any of these guys even want to sign with Milwaukee. If no one does, then we can bring back Middleton and Mirotic and make another run at getting to the finals.

The Bucks have a huge offseason ahead of them, one that they cannot bungle if they want to continue to be one of the best teams in the NBA. So far, Horst has proven to be one of the best GM’s in the league, and hopefully, he continues to make sound decisions through this offseason.

All contract information from Spotrac.com

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