Milwaukee Bucks Roundtable: Previewing crucial free agency

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – APRIL 20: (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 20: (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. From a Bucks’ perspective, how would you describe your expectations heading into free agency?

Ben Sewell (@Pencil2292): I’m fully expecting a very boring/status quo free agency. Run it back (minus Mirotic) and the Bucks should be extremely competitive next season. Maybe a splash on a few aging vets who want to play with Giannis on minimum deals. I would like the Bucks to go into the tax, however, to show Giannis they are committed to him. In Horst we trust.

Dan Larsen (@DanLarsen34): I don’t expect free agency to be that exciting or interesting for the Milwaukee Bucks. We’ll all be waiting to see if, and when, the team is able to bring back their core three free agents in Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, and Khris Middleton. Every indication we’ve had from the team is that running it back is the plan.

There has been buzz from those outside Milwaukee that the Bucks won’t be able to afford to bring all three players back. I don’t think that’s as much of an issue as people think, especially with Snell’s contract off the books. I expect Milwaukee to do everything they can to retain this team unless something unforeseen happens.

Isaac Sours: Bring the gang back! Milwaukee has pretty limited options as to what they *can* do, so my expectation is that they do as much of those things as possible. Bringing back their major players is the best they can afford given the cap and the exceptions, as discussed on the recent episodes of the Win in 6 Podcast.

Jordan Treske (@JordanTreske): I’m reasonably confident, going into Sunday night, about the Bucks retaining their free agent starters Malcolm Brodgon, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton. By all accounts, Middleton returning is all but done and Lopez is trending toward that direction, especially after the Snell deal. Brogdon’s restricted free agency will be one to watch, but the Bucks hold the right to match any offer that comes their way for Brogdon. Beyond that, things get a little hairy but I expect all three to return and, yes, on sizable paydays.

Scott Romportl (@ScottRomportl): At season’s end my confidence level was around a 7 (out of 10) that the Bucks would be able to retain their starting lineup, as Brook Lopez was the only one that required cap space (or the mid-level exception). It has since risen to a 9 since the Tony Snell trade. I think any free agency fireworks will be filling the roster margins with value contracts or veteran minimums, depending on the cap constraints at the time, and that it won’t really resemble free agency fireworks in any way. You never know though, the NBA offseason can be wild. Buckle up.

Adam McGee (@AdamMcGee11): The Bucks have shown an increasing and refreshing tendency for making good decisions rather than bad decisions over the last 18 months. My hope and expectation is for that continue, because anything else will be disastrous for the team on the court, and for the overhaul in perception the organization has worked so hard to achieve.

In this case, good decisions amount to ownership accepting the cost of excellence and retaining the core. If Jon Horst wants to extend that to landing great value pickups later in free agency, that’d be even better again.