Milwaukee Bucks: Key bench players remain in NBA free agency limbo

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 27: Michael Beasley
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 27: Michael Beasley /

Even though both of them were effective bench players on the Milwaukee Bucks last season, Jason Terry and Michael Beasley are still unsigned free agents right now.

Jason Terry and Michael Beasley both helped the Milwaukee Bucks, a playoff team, get to their zenith last season–two wins away from the second round, and farther than many expected the team to go without Khris Middleton for half of the year and Jabari Parker for the other half.

Still, both players have gotten nearly to August without signing any sort of contract with an NBA team or otherwise. Terry was probably the better player–he certainly had the bigger positive affect on the Bucks, who outscored opponents by 4.7 points per 100 possessions with JET on the floor–although his age might be precluding him from some looks.

Terry will be 40 before the 2017-18 NBA season starts, even with the unseasonably early start date this year. Unless a team needs a veteran, it makes some sense why JET might get passed over due to his advanced age, although anybody who watched the Bucks last season knows he’s still got enough fuel in the tank.

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Beasley still being available, on the other hand, is a little shocking. He’ll be 28 when the 2017-18 season begins, and he’ll stay that age until January. Over the last two seasons, Beas has absolutely killed it, especially if his numbers are extrapolated out to per 36 minutes to account for the scant playing time he sometimes gets.

Beas is averaging 21.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per 36 over his last two NBA seasons. He’s shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from deep over that stretch.

His defense can leave something to be desired in terms of consistency, but Beasley is absolutely worth a small deal and a roster spot somewhere. The man gets buckets. Milwaukee would be lucky to have him, except there’s not any room left on the roster.

The only way Beas or JET could be added is if Milwaukee released or traded somebody. Gary Payton II could be dumped, but that’d leave the Bucks thin at the point unless it was JET who took his spot. The Mitten is always the first one to hypothetically get cut because his deal isn’t guaranteed.

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Cutting anybody else to sign Beasley or Terry would add to Milwaukee’s luxury tax bill, which seems to be a big no-no right now. That just leaves a trade that results in more Bucks leaving the roster than new players coming in, which probably isn’t likely.

Simply put, it would help Milwaukee to have one or both of Terry or Beasley back. The sad thing is that the reason the Bucks can’t re-sign them is mostly their own screw-ups. Spencer Hawes is only on the roster because he came back in the Miles Plumlee deal, and the Bucks had to deal him because they gave him way too much money.

And obviously there’s John Henson, who costs a whole lot for somebody who doesn’t really play in most games. Without one of those two around, Milwaukee could bring back at least one of JET and Beasley.

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Alas, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for right now. Hopefully if the Milwaukee Bucks never open up a spot for them, Jason Terry and Michael Beasley can find new homes in the NBA before long.