Milwaukee Bucks: Laying out the offseason blueprint

BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

This past season’s Milwaukee Bucks team is good enough to beat any team in the NBA; and yes, that includes the reigning champions in Toronto. The Bucks need to reload and run it back.

A Milwaukee Bucks’ championship is not just possible; it’s probable.

Never again will we see Giannis Antetokounmpo miss so many free throws. Never again will we see Khris Middleton be held to under 10 points in a crucial playoff game. Never again will head coach Mike Budenholzer fail to make important coaching adjustments. Never again will we see…Tony Snell and Ersan Ilyasova?

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The first step in the puzzle to arming the Milwaukee Bucks for a championship run is clearing moveable cap space.

The Bucks would have been on the line to pay Snell an average of $11,500,000 for the next two seasons to essentially just sit on the bench and play garbage time minutes. Sure, Snell is a great 3-and-D type player; but there are better options to choose from.

Following on from Wednesday’s trade which sent him to the Pistons along with the 30th pick, Milwaukee will now get the chance to consider some of those options too.

Ersan Ilyasova and his unwarranted contract likely need to go as well. Like Snell, Ilyasova’s contract is a bit generous in relation to his contributions. Just to take charges and hit the occasional open three, Ilyasova will be making $7 million next season with a team option for another year of the same after that. Are there flashes of brilliance? Yes, but those nights are few and far between.

The Milwaukee Bucks should strive for greatness on a nightly basis, and their selection of free agents and trade acquisitions should reflect that. The Bucks should not make the same mistake as the Cleveland Cavaliers did with LeBron James in the mid-2000s; failing to equip him with a competent roster, such as the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors, who boasted both star power and bench depth.

Dumping cap space in Snell and Ilyasova frees up enough money to logically bring back Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Malcolm Brogdon. Extending Eric Bledsoe to a four-year, $70 million deal tightened the Bucks’ cap flexibility, but that starting five is good as any in the league. By retaining their core starters from last season, the Bucks have a season’s worth of chemistry to work with.

That being said, bolstering the bench is more than desirable. There are two free agents that are not only feasible acquisitions within the team’s cap space, but would also fit the Bucks’ needs. The first of the lot is forward JaMychal Green.

Although Green’s numbers will not blow anyone away; he is an athletic player who can shoot threes and is able to defend with the best of them. He had a serviceable season with the Memphis Grizzlies and LA Clippers, and would be a welcome addition to the Milwaukee Bucks. A stat line of 9.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game may not seem like much, but his 39.6 percent shooting from three is what Bucks’ fans should be excited about.

Terrence Ross is another name that fits the Bucks’ needs rather well. Ross is coming off a career season with the Orlando Magic, where he put up 15.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from three. Ross is an athletic scoring wing who has loads of defensive potential. His length, coupled with tenacity, makes him a stout perimeter defender, while his strength keeps him from being bullied in the post.

If the Bucks wish to run it back whilst making some beneficial changes to their depth, this is the best path to doing so. The Bucks need to look to shed cap-space, add defense, shooting, athleticism, and speed. This plan also ensures that the band of Bledsoe, Brogdon, Middleton, Giannis, and Lopez stay together.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Grades and reactions for the Tony Snell trade. dark

The offseason is heating up, and Bucks’ fans should be excited about what the future holds.