Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking impending free agents by priority to re-sign

Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: P.J. Tucker, Pat Connaughton, Phoenix Suns: Mikal Bridges
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Bucks free agent priority No. 2 – P.J. Tucker

Following a devastating season-ending injury to Donte DiVincenzo, P.J. Tucker was promoted into the starting lineup full-time for the Bucks.

He played a pivotal role in their second round series with the Brooklyn Nets by being tasked with slowing down Kevin Durant. Although Tucker did not stop Durant by any means, his physical defense was crucial to making every shot for the forward as challenging as possible. Without that gritty defensive play for seven games against one of the greatest scorers ever, the Bucks would not have won the series, without question.

The defensive presence he provides in lineups alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez is just fantastic. Tucker can guard the best player on the opposing team with no questions asked, alleviating pressure off the others. While his contributions can oftentimes be scarce on the offensive end aside from the occasional corner triple, there is no doubt that he will consistently give 110 percent on the defensive side of things each and every night.

At 36-years-old, Tucker will not be securing a long-term deal this offseason, but a handful of other contending teams will undoubtedly be looking to sign him. His defensive stature could turn up any team’s efforts on that end, and as he was for the Bucks, he could be a key contributor. Yet, Tucker seems likely to stick around in Milwaukee as they hold his Bird rights once free agency begins. The veteran has also preached about how he wanted to specifically join the Bucks as he was gearing up to be traded during the season, and running it back seems ideal for both sides.