Milwaukee Bucks: 3 ways the reigning champs improved this offseason

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 02 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Following their first title-winning season in 50 years, many wondered how the Milwaukee Bucks would look to improve their roster in the offseason.

With their core four of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez all secured financially for the foreseeable future, they would not have much spending money. Tie that reality in with the team’s depleted asset cabinet, and this offseason looked like it would be a quiet one. Yet, general manager Jon Horst is known to always have a trick or two up his sleeve, which he showed with some compelling moves.

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While no groundbreaking deals that would hypothetically dominate headlines and garner their own individual sections on television shows have been made, the Bucks have managed to make some solid deals through free agency and trade to this point in the offseason.

One could even make the argument that this current roster, on paper, is better than the one that just celebrated Milwaukee’s first title win in over five decades just a few short weeks ago.

That is undeniably up for discussion, but with that being said, here are three ways the reigning champs managed to get better this offseason.

The Milwaukee Bucks got better by upgrading the backup point guard slot with George Hill

Milwaukee’s backup point guard predicament was a dominant storyline that stuck with the team from last offseason all the way until their title run came to a triumphant close.

Needing to find a serviceable second unit floor general, the Bucks spared no expense in handing a three-year deal worth $21 million to D.J. Augustin. Although he would hypothetically fill their void at the position with a household veteran, many initially felt skeptical about the deal by calling it a significant overpay. Ultimately, any concerns about Augustin’s fit with the Bucks proved true as he would never quite find his footing with the team and would be traded to the Houston Rockets in March in the deal for P.J. Tucker.

Once again needing to fill their point guard position, the Bucks took a flyer on Jeff Teague via the buyout market. Although he gave them quality minutes at the position, he never managed to do it with any consistency. His production was a mixed bag, particularly in the postseason run where he would find himself not checking in at all during certain games. Still, the team was in a good spot at the position because they had Jrue Holiday running the floor.

However, with the 31-year-old playing extended minutes all throughout the postseason and then immediately playing hefty time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he has added some extra miles over this past few months. The Bucks needed to find a quality backup to play behind Holiday to help alleviate some of that ball-handling pressure away to comfortably allow their starter to take an occasional breather, which is precisely what they did when they signed George Hill.

Hill, who was traded away in the initial package for Holiday, will return to the Bucks on a two-year deal to reclaim his backup point guard slot like he never left. With his scoring, playmaking, veteran leadership, and passable defense, Hill will be an immediate upgrade over what the Bucks had with Augustin and Teague. He also has that pre-conjured chemistry with Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Lopez, and others on this roster, so he should fit right back in with this group. Adding a new backup guard was among the team’s top priorities this offseason, and Hill fits the billing.