The Milwaukee Bucks’ best avenue of adding a significant contributor this summer in free agency comes via the mid-level exception, but who are the options in that range?
In spite of having to manage a challenging cap sheet this summer, the Milwaukee Bucks do have options available to them to improve their roster significantly in free agency.
With a large range of capable role players on the open market and very few teams possessing meaningful cap space, the value of exceptions in free agency will return to levels that haven’t been seen in the NBA for a number of years.
As we’ve explored in recent days, there may well be capable contributors available on veteran minimum deals, or with the bi-annual exception if the Bucks choose to use it, but undoubtedly their most appealing offer in free agency is set to be the mid-level exception (MLE).
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Just how much the Bucks choose to do elsewhere and how they deal with Jabari Parker‘s free agency will dictate how valuable that MLE will be for Milwaukee.
Heading into free agency, the MLE is projected to be $8,568,000 for non-tax-paying teams and $5,292,000 for tax paying teams. A lucrative extension for Parker certainly has the potential to push the Bucks into that tax bracket, but the flexibility added with the full mid-level will act as one of the reasons why they may be particularly interested in trying to stay below that mark.
Players can be signed on a mid-level deal for up to a maximum of four years, meaning that if the right player falls to the Bucks in that price range they have a chance to add a key piece at a reasonable price for years to come. Much like the bi-annual exception, using the MLE enforces a hard cap at the apron for the remainder of the season.
Of course, the exception can also be split and given to multiple players.
For now, though, let’s focus on the players who the Bucks may be able to chase with a full mid-level exception or close to it, and why they may prove to be appealing enough for the Bucks to try to stay below the tax.