While the Milwaukee Bucks will be hard-capped after their recent blockbuster moves, we look at five players they could target with the midlevel exception.
The Milwaukee Bucks made quite the pair of splashes to open up this NBA offseason earlier this week.
Having scoured the trade market, which led them to acquiring both Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Bucks have fortified their talent and the top of their roster around the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez.
In the process of landing those talent upgrades, however, the Bucks have sacrificed all of their depth and multiple future assets.
Now to forced to rebuild up their depth from the ground up, the Bucks are facing quite the squeeze when it comes to filling out their roster and do so against the hard cap which is set at $138.9 million, just a little more than $6 million over the luxury tax threshold.
Even with the whole saga unfolding with Bogdanovic at the moment, the high-wire act that Bucks general manger Jon Horst has to pull off in trying to reshape the team’s roster continues on. And as a result, the Bucks’ biggest resource in free agency will be the $5.7 taxpayer midlevel exception.
With that in mind, let’s look at some free agents the Bucks could to look towards by signing them to the taxpayer midlevel exception.
The Bucks got a first-hand experience of playing against D.J. Augustin in their first round series of last year’s NBA Playoffs against the Orlando Magic down in the bubble.
The 33-year-old has bounced around the league and has played for seven different teams over his 12-year NBA career after being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Nearing on the end of his career, Augustin may look to latch on to a title contender to play a reserve role.
That could easily come in Milwaukee, especially since their point guard depth behind Holiday is as bare as can be at the moment.
Augustin is coming off a down shooting season last year in Orladno where he averaged 10.5 points on .399/.348/.890 shooting splits, along with 4.6 assists, over his 57 appearances. However, Augustin has shown he’s better 3-point shooter over his career and did hit 41.6 percent of his 89 catch-and-shoot threes last year, per NBA.com/stats.
Being able to hit shots off the ball is just as valuable on the ball, especially with the kind of shot creators the Bucks now have on their roster. Of course, perhaps the added space to create will also lead to better efficiency for the veteran Augustin.
Either way, Augustin’s services would fit well backing up Holiday and slotting into whatever lineup Budenholzer puts on the floor. And the Bucks simply need more ball handlers, on top of players, in trying to fill out their rest of their roster.