Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Had interest in signing Shabazz Napier in free agency

Feb 24, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 24, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) /

According to a report from HoopsHype, the Milwaukee Bucks had nearly signed journeyman point guard Shabazz Napier during their offseason frenzy.

As they have gotten off to a solid start to the 2020-21 season, the Milwaukee Bucks have pushed past what was a high-profile offseason.

The Bucks ultimately got better with the acquisition of Jrue Holiday and their future looks brighter with Giannis Antetokounmpo having signed his five-year supermax extension. But they certainly had some major hiccups such as their failed pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic that changed the course of their offseason.

More from Bucks Rumors

There were certainly many ripple effects in losing out on Bogdanovic, which includes players that remain unsigned at this stage in the season.

According to a report from HoopsHype’s Frank Urbina, the Bucks had nearly signed veteran point guard Shabazz Napier in free agency when they were under the assumption of having their dream starting five with Bogdanovic in the fold:

"“As far as reporting goes, things have been quiet on the Napier front publicly for the last nine months, but a source close to the UConn legend told our own Bryan Kalbrosky that Napier nearly signed with the Milwaukee Bucks before their deal for Bogdan Bogdanovic fell apart and that the Golden State Warriors were also strongly considering picking him up before they opted to go with Brad Wanamaker instead.”"

Napier would have certainly fortified the Bucks’ point guard depth if their grand plans had come to fruition.

The Connecticut product is coming off a 2019-20 season split between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards where he averaged 10.3 points on .412/.317/.824 shooting splits, 4.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals across 46 appearances.

While Shabazz Napier remains unsigned, the Milwaukee Bucks are hard pressed to sign him at this juncture.

Although the Bucks still have an open roster spot and Napier is still left unsigned after both the Bucks and the Warriors passed on signing him in the offseason, Milwaukee’s lack of cap flexibility prevents them from signing a player to fill out their roster.

As we recently covered in the Bucks’ interest in Nic Batum before he signed with the L.A. Clippers during the offseason, the Bucks are already over the cap and can’t go over the hard cap that’s set at $138.9 million. Jrue Holiday’s unlikely and likely contract bonuses have further constricted the Bucks in being able to fill out their roster at this stage.

Now whether Napier remains unsigned until the trade deadline or during buyout season remains to be seen, but a prorated salary at the veteran minimum would grease the wheels if the Bucks were still to be interested in the 29-year-old. Because Napier has five years of NBA service, a veteran minimum deal signed before the start of the season would have been marked at $1.62 million to the Bucks’ cap.

Next. 3 players already on Mike Budenholzer’s good side. dark

The Bucks have certainly been active in shoring up their roster midway through the last two seasons. As tight as it is at this stage, time will tell whether the Bucks will fill out their 15-man roster down the line and whether their previous interest in Napier will heat up again.