The first, and perhaps most important, element of reaching an overall appraisal of the Bucks’ extension agreement with Eric Bledsoe is the fact it has instantly taken one major stress out of their summer.
With so many question marks ahead of the free agency of Middleton, Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon, and Nikola Mirotic, removing Bledsoe from that muddle immediately relieves some pressure on Milwaukee’s front office.
The flip side of that coin is a reduction in the Bucks’ cap flexibility if they were intent on chasing marquee free agents from outside of the organization in July, but this move does suggest Jon Horst’s intent is to bring back his key personnel for the foreseeable future.
On that front, the case could be made for Bledsoe being one of the most important players to tie down first. With a lack of obvious upgrades on the market at point guard, the security of having Bledsoe tied down already can’t be overlooked.
The deal remains significant, though, and the question of how it will age is likely to remain a concern as the years progress. The Bucks’ current priority has to be retaining their current level of competitiveness, proving themselves as a contender, and in turn convincing Antetokounmpo to commit long term when his extension talks arise.
With that in mind, coming to terms with Bledsoe makes plenty of sense.
Overall Grade: B+