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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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 29: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 29: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

2. It’s no secret that the Bucks’ primary goal is to bring back their three starters and George Hill. Are you confident in their ability to do that?

BS: Middleton and Brogdon are simple: Max Middleton and match Brogdon. Lopez will be difficult, however, and some work on the edges of the roster may be required. Trading Ilyasova or stretching Leuer may be required but, in my opinion, they should be doing whatever it takes to retain Lopez. Unbeknownst to the average fan, Lopez made the third most threes in franchise history in one season in 2018-19. He’s vital to what the Bucks are trying to build. Hill is a wildcard because Milwaukee can’t offer him the most money, but can offer the best environment, so watch this space.

DL: I am. By trading Tony Snell for Jon Leuer, the Bucks gave themselves the flexibility to create up to $6 million in additional cap space if they need it. That alleviated the financial concerns everyone had coming into the off-season about whether they’d have enough money to bring back all three starters, especially Lopez.

If the players are as serious about wanting to come back as they’ve said publicly, then the Bucks should be able to do that now.

IS: I’m least confident in getting George Hill back, simply because I feel like he can make a LOT more money elsewhere, especially given Darren Collinson’s early retirement. However, the public commentary has been fairly positive from his camp, as have been the rumors from big name reporters like Woj and others.

JT: Hill is definitely the big question mark, especially after the stunning news that Bucks free agent forward Nikola Mirotic will reportedly be returning back to overseas to play with Barcelona. With the expected news that the Bucks will waive him ahead of his salary guarantee date on Monday, their hands are certainly tied in not being able to offer a lucrative deal to lure Hill back to Milwaukee upon hitting the open market again.

Of course, they do have a trump card in being able to offer a valuable role on a championship contending team, but will that be enough to sway Hill, especially in an incredibly top heavy point guard market? That will be the big question.

SR: I’ll provide an echo here. My prediction is the three starters return. Beyond that, it’s a crapshoot. George Hill likely could earn more money elsewhere, but may choose winning/culture over more financially friendly offers. While we’ve heard the rumors about mutual interest in a reunion between the Bucks and Hill, it only takes one team to make an offer he can’t refuse.

AM: I’m incredibly confident in their ability to do so, as I believe the work Horst has done over the last year in clearing cap space has paved the way for it to be a formality. The question is whether they’ll deliver in term of commitment at the cost it will take. If they’re as in on winning and convincing Giannis to stay as they’ve always stated publicly, it should be no problem at this point to bring the group back.