As the Milwaukee Bucks evaluate their roster and consider potential changes this offseason, they’ll have to be careful not to overcorrect.
For as good as the Milwaukee Bucks have been in the regular season since Mike Budenholzer took over as head coach in the summer of 2018, the team has now fallen short of their goals in the playoffs for two consecutive seasons.
As a result, it’s no surprise that much of the conversation surrounding the team heading into the offseason is focused on change.
There can be little doubt that change is necessary too. In addition to the need for internal improvement from the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Donte DiVincenzo, and a more fluid approach from Budenholzer when it comes to coaching, it seems to safe to say that it may be time for the Bucks to move on from some of the players who’ve been mainstays of their rotation over the past couple of seasons.
The most obvious example of that comes in the form of Eric Bledsoe. For as good as Bledsoe generally is defensively, and how important he’s been in defining the team’s identity overall, three consecutive seasons of costly playoff struggles simply can’t be overlooked at this point.
It’s for that reason that the Bucks are said to be in the market for trades that could give them an upgrade in the backcourt. When it comes to making any moves this offseason, though, whether via trade or free agency, Milwaukee will also need to be wary of doing too much.
Given just how much has gone well for the Bucks over the past two years, it certainly seems like they may not be more than a move away from transforming the team for the better, but similarly it could just take one more misstep to force things to begin to unravel.
That’s not a reason for the Bucks to be risk-averse and play things overly safe over the course of the next few months, but it is the reason why they must give incredibly measured consideration to each decision along the way.
Where that could become particularly relevant is in trade discussions. It’s one thing to seek out a Bledsoe upgrade, but building a package may well force the Bucks into putting other important players on the table who haven’t quite suffered the blips that he has.
For example, there’s little doubt that a deal could exist where it’s in the Bucks’ interest to bundle one or multiple of George Hill, Brook Lopez, and Donte DiVincenzo with Bledsoe to get a trade over the line, but there will also be options out there where Milwaukee could end up making deals that fix one problem only to then create a new one.
That speaks to the treacherous nature of the offseason facing the Bucks, and with the pressure that comes with it, they simply can’t afford to make a mistake.