Meeting with local media Tuesday afternoon, Milwaukee Bucks wing Pat Connaughton discussed re-signing with the Bucks in free agency.
This offseason has been a time of great change for the Milwaukee Bucks.
On top of the major move they made to land Jrue Holiday, almost all of the Bucks’ free agents this offseason have either gone elsewhere or mull retirement in the case of Kyle Korver. The lone exception to that has been reserve wing Pat Connaughton, who agreed to come back to the Bucks on a three-year, $16 million deal over the weekend.
In his first appearance since re-signing with the Bucks and following the end of their 2019-20 season, Connaughton discussed extending his stay in Milwaukee after having originally arrived late in the summer of 2018.
As Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relayed Tuesday, Connaughton spoke of his long-standing willingness to stay in Milwaukee going into free agency and that didn’t change over the course of negotiations:
“I don’t think I’ve hid the fact that I like being a Milwaukee Buck,” Connaughton said. “I wanted to stay. Obviously, there is a business side to it, so you have to listen and field calls and offers from other teams, but I’ve enjoyed my time here and I think there’s a lot of unfinished business here.”
That unfinished business Connaughton referred to speaks to the stinging feeling that he and all of his teammates have felt in each of the last two seasons. Even as Connaughton was an ancillary piece in those playoff runs, he still has made an impact on the culture the Bucks have developed over the course of the Mike Budenholzer era.
Connaughton had been very vocal about staying in Milwaukee well before going into free agency. For as messy as the optics looked amid everything else going around the Bucks last week, the Bucks made it worth Connaughton’s while as well as the player option he has in the third year of his deal.
Pat Connaughton certainly approves of the Milwaukee Bucks’ recent acquisition of veteran guard Jrue Holiday.
Along with staying in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future, Connaughton shared his excitement of playing alongside the Bucks’ big addition of Jrue Holiday.
Besides making the visits to New Orleans over the last five years, Connaughton referred to the impact Holiday made in the Pelicans’ first round sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers a couple of years ago during Connaughton’s Blazers stint as why he will click in Milwaukee:
“In my opinion, (he was) the reason why New Orleans knocked us off when we played them in the playoffs when I was in Portland,” Connaughton said. “He was able to put his foot down on a nightly basis. …
“I’m not sure there is a more underrated guy in the NBA. And I think you couple him with Khris and Giannis, that’s a big deal. And I’m not sure a lot of people have really explained how big of a deal that is.”
With Holiday in the mix, the Bucks have a formidable trio that will serve as their foundation for next season and that’s not even mentioning the impact Brook Lopez will have as well.
What kind of role Connaughton will serve to the Bucks next season remains to be seen, especially as they have replenished their wing rotation around him. Connaughton has a new set of teammates after the Bucks have brought in the likes of Torrey Craig and Bryn Forbes as well as Sam Merrill through the draft.
The answers to how the Bucks’ new wing rotation will sort out will soon be revealed when training camp starts this coming Monday. For Connaughton and the Bucks, that’s when the work to make good on their championship goals will begin once again.