Milwaukee Bucks: An earlier free agency period would be key to big questions

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The NBA may reportedly consider moving up free agency following the potential restart to the 2019-20 season. That may help the Milwaukee Bucks provide answers to the big questions facing them sooner than expected.

It goes without saying that the NBA has a lot on its plate right now when it comes to restarting the 2019-20 NBA season.

Discussions continue to ramp up as the NBA, the players and all 30 owners are looking to fully formulate a return-to-play plan that may lead to a vote as early as next week as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Friday afternoon.

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With such a massive break coming as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, how the league will have to rework their normal schedule will also have to be resolved and that may reportedly involve massive changes to free agency.

As Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Thursday night, holding this year’s free agency before the draft may be on the table at some point down the line.

Pompey later noted in his report that it would not be among the talks during Friday’s Board of Governors meeting, along with deciding when this year’s draft would eventually take place.

The concept of having free agency take place before the draft has gathered steam in recent years and it would be certainly more feasible during this unprecedented time when the league’s calendar is clearly in need of reworking.

And it goes without saying that in the event that free agency is held before this upcoming draft, the Milwaukee Bucks would be among the biggest teams to benefit from this scenario.

Above all else, the big question revolving around superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and whether he would accept a supermax extension may or may not be resolved sooner with free agency coming first ahead of the draft. That, of course, may hinge on whatever the outcome is on this Milwaukee Bucks season when it eventually is rebooted.

Antetokounmpo’s future in Milwaukee lingers over any and all questions regarding their roster and eventually winning an NBA title would answer that big question. Anything short of that, well, that’s where things could potentially get uncomfortable.

The ripple effects of Antetokounmpo’s inevitable decision and how it could affect the Bucks’ roster planning could be felt as soon as this year’s draft where Milwaukee will either have the 19th or 20th pick as it currently stands.

That isn’t to say whether the Bucks would alter their draft strategy completely because of Antetokounmpo, particularly if they felt confident that he would indeed end up signing the supermax extension that will assuredly be affected with salary cap crunch that will be coming on down from the top.

But with each and every move that the Bucks make regarding their roster foundation and how it’s dedicated to maximize the wide-ranging strengths of the reigning Most Valuable Player, surely whoever the Bucks take via the draft could offer some insight into their future roster construction.

But beyond Antetokounmpo, the prospect of having free agency first may hold answers to other big questions regarding the crop of impending Bucks free agents. That’s especially relevant on the wing where the likes of Sterling Brown (restricted), Pat Connaughton, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews (player option) may hit the open market.

Along with Matthews’ $2.6 million player option, we’ll see what veteran center Robin Lopez ends up deciding to do with his $5 million player option. And the fate of what the Bucks’ front office ends up doing with Ersan Ilyasova’s $7 million guarantee will also have to be sorted before free agency as well.

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With so many questions, both big and small, regarding the shape of the Bucks’ roster, how their season shakes out will influence the answers to the many questions that currently hang over Milwaukee. And those may come sooner than we expected in light of this suspension.