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) /
5 of 7
TORONTO, ON – MAY 12: (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – MAY 12: (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

4. Considering the rumblings of deals around the rest of the NBA, do you think this free agency will shake out in a way that improves or takes away from the Bucks’ contention prospects?

BS: I believe when the dust settles, the Bucks will remain the best team in the East. Minus a four-game stretch from Kawhi, they were easily the best in the East last season and if they bring the core back and Kawhi leaves Toronto, the path to glory is as clear as it has ever been in Milwaukee.

DL: If Kawhi Leonard leaves the East, the Bucks chances improve. They already got a gift that Boston and Philly weren’t able to land Anthony Davis. Leonard leaving would take away the one player who was able to contain Giannis this season, making the Bucks the clear favorites.

That said, there are still several impact players who could change teams via free agency or trades. Things could break quite unfavorably for them if several impact stars remain or switch conferences. It’s impossible to know now, even hours from free agency, how the NBA landscape may change in the next week. Their standing in the league could change either way depending on how all that plays out.

IS: I’m of the opinion that the Bucks were fairly close to a title last year, and that if Giannis even makes minor refinements to his game, and if role players step up, it really doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere.

JT: I agree with Isaac. The Bucks were already close this season to making the Finals this year that however the landscape shakes out across the league, they’ll stand as a contender if their core returns, plus whatever minor additions they make over the course of free agency.

SR: The Bucks were unbelievably healthy last year, so another 60 win regular season may be a tall task. That being said, any team with Giannis Antetokounmpo and not-Jason Kidd as coach should be in contention just by default. See past LeBron James‘ Cavs teams for evidence of this.

AM: As things stand, I’m a little unnerved at just how well things could yet shape up for the Bucks coming out the other side of free agency. The Celtics are about to take a major step back, Jimmy Butler could yet leave the 76ers, and it’s very much in play that the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard. If that was to come to pass, the Bucks would essentially have a red carpet to the Finals this season.

The West continuing to get stronger may make for an even more stout challenge in the Finals, if they were to get there, but the toll of battling the teams in a brutal west across 82 games may be greater than ever too.