What was the Milwaukee Bucks biggest mistake of the 2021 offseason?

Sept 20, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports)
Sept 20, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports) /

Yeah sure, the Milwaukee Bucks are on a roll right now and approaching the trade deadline where they can make changes to their mistakes in the offseason, but why not take a trip down recent memory lane and see how we got here.

The Bucks reshaped their bench this past offseason and got rid of a fan favorite to help them do so. It’s easy to pick out the best move of the offseason, that’s been Grayson Allen by a landslide but there have been a plethora of moves that haven’t worked out.

Finding the Milwaukee Bucks’ worst move from this past offseason

I went through, listed all of the Bucks’ most important moves from the offseason earlier and how it has impacted their approach to the deadline.

There’s probably an argument to be made for trading down in the draft and coming away with Sandro Mamukelashvili (who I like) and Georgios Kalaitzakis (who was not good), but they used some of those picks to help get Allen.

There also isn’t really a player taken in between their original pick at 31 and when they took Mamukelashvili that makes me regret not having that pick instead of Allen. Herb Jones is great, but who cares, Allen is better right now.

Three moves stick out to me as being the worst of the offseason: letting P.J. Tucker walk, signing Semi Ojeleye, and signing Rodney Hood.

It’s not Hood, though. They signed him to the minimum and he wasn’t supposed to fill a hole. It was a low-cost, medium-reward signing that hasn’t gone well. But hey, again, it was a minimum contract and won’t impact the Bucks’ flexibility much at all.

Now, I’ve been a staunch defender that moving Tucker wasn’t the tax-ducking move that everyone assumed it was. Initially, that’s certainly what it looked like as the Bucks had his Bird rights and could sign him to whatever amount of money they wanted. They ended up going further into the tax at the end of the offseason without Tucker anyway, so it clearly wasn’t all about the tax.

I also didn’t think that Tucker would shoot as well as he has this season (nearly 47 percent on three attempts per game from 3) and that his defensive impact was a smidge overrated because of the championship so it wasn’t worth paying him what he got from the Heat.

Especially if they could get a cheaper alternative that would help them make other moves (like signing George Hill or adding and extending Grayson Allen), such as Ojeleye.

I’ve said it before, but it was reaaaalllyyyy wrong about Ojeleye’s impact this season. He’s a big, strong wing that shot relatively well the last two seasons with Boston before coming to the Bucks. He just… hasn’t been healthy and when he has, he hasn’t shot the 3 well whatsoever. The defense is still there, but if he can’t hit any shots or crash the offensive glass as Tucker did in the playoffs, then he’s going to be ignored when the games matter.

That has left them where we are now.

Ojeleye not being able to play has done two things: required them to fill the big wing role and not have enough depth up front. Before the season, general manager Jon Horst said that they were anticipating Ojeleye to give them small-ball minutes and that would help some of the assumed lack of depth in the frontcourt.

The Bucks are now having to either trade assets (Donte DiVincenzo) for an actual impact player or relaying on a veteran to get bought out (Thaddeus Young) to help fill those roles.

So, to answer my own question in the most me way possible: a bit of both! Tucker would have been easy to fit back into the roster, but I understand the apprehension. Ojeleye was a good replacement in theory, but in practice, it hasn’t worked whatsoever.

The thought process and decision-making were sound, to me. Trying to fill the role with a player who does similar things for cheaper, but that’s why Ojeleye isn’t Tucker and wasn’t paid as such.

The key to the Bucks’ repeat is still finding someone like Tucker or Young that can be a small ball five as well as defend bigger wings in a pinch, but it’s not an easy commodity to find.

Assessing Bleacher Report’s Mike Muscala trade for Milwaukee Bucks. dark. Next

It’s nice that the Bucks’ biggest mistake was signing a minimum contract player though, huh?