Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Bucks reportedly interested in Shabazz Muhammad

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 12: Shabazz Muhammad
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 12: Shabazz Muhammad /

The latest Milwaukee Bucks rumors have the Bucks sniffing around unrestricted free agent Shabazz Muhammad.

Right in the middle of a thrilling (it was not actually thrilling) Summer League matchup with the Sacramento Kings, some Milwaukee Bucks rumors burst onto the scene and sent Bucks Twitter into a tizzy (it wasn’t really in a tizzy).

According to Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, the Bucks are one of four teams who are currently interested in unrestricted free agent Shabazz Muhammad. The other three teams are the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and New York Knicks.

The Knicks, like the Bucks, have almost no cap room. Shoutout to Jeff Siegel for the following team cap sheet information, by the way. New York tied up all of its money in the massive Tim Hardaway Jr. contract, leaving the Knicks with less than $3 million in cap space, meaning the Knicks don’t have much cash to throw around.

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The Nets and Hawks, on the other hand, have lots of money to throw around. The Hawks have something like $20 million to spend still once they renounce Ersan Ilyasova, while the Nets have $18 million in space with more available if Brooklyn really wanted it.

If the Hawks or Nets really want Muhammad, they can quickly spend enough to remove both Milwaukee and New York from the equation entirely, unless Muhammad is so intent on picking a destination that money is no object to him.

Even if he were interested in signing with the Bucks, it would be complicated, to say the least. First and foremost because Milwaukee does not have a roster spot open. It’s pretty hard to sign a player without at least one of those.

One can be opened up for no cost if the Bucks want to waive Gary Payton II, but that’s not such an easy decision considering the other options Milwaukee has at point guard. Outside of Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova, the next-closest thing the Bucks have to a floor general (besides Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is not lining up at the one) is, somehow, Rashad Vaughn.

Waiving Payton II to sign Muhammad does shore up a hole the Bucks have at backup small forward, but taking away a point guard to fill that hole is like pulling your finger out of a hole in a dam to plug a different one.

The Bucks could waive and stretch Spencer Hawes and then add Muhammad, but that kind of move is costly. Milwaukee could get Hawes’ cap hit down to $2 million per year over the next three years, which gets them out of the tax right now, although a Muhammad deal puts the Bucks right back into that tax bracket if it’s for much more than league minimum.

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Muhammad is an interesting 24-year-old forward with a 6’6″ frame and 6’11” wingspan, but unless the Bucks really are going to find a way to dump a big contract without taking back meaningful salary, adding Muhammad is difficult at best.