The Milwaukee Bucks need to bring Jevon Carter back next season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 01 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 01 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

While the core of the Milwaukee Bucks roster is intact for next season, there are several key free agents from their bench that the front office will need to make decisions on after the role players failed to step up enough in Khris Middleton’s absence.

Sure, it’s hard to ask so much from role players but it’s also fair to wonder what tweaks need to be made as there were some holes in the roster construction that were exposed. The big names are obvious in Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton. Retaining them will be the prime topic of conversation this offseason (aside from who they can add around those guys as well), but one name that the Bucks need to keep around is Jevon Carter.

Why the Milwaukee Bucks need to bring Jevon Carter back next season

I’ve been a big fan of the Carter acquisition basically since it happened and he even blew away my expectations for him. He fit in seamlessly with the team right away and even when he wasn’t playing, was a great bench presence. He was always up and cheering for his teammates which was awesome to see.

It would have been more awesome to see him actually on the basketball court in the second round more often, but it’s too late to complain now.

Anyway, coming into last season, the biggest hole on the roster was easily the backup point guard spot after the Bucks abandoned a secondary ball-handler behind Jrue Holiday once they (smartly) shipped D.J. Augustin out of town for P.J. Tucker.

They couldn’t afford to have another mistake in that spot so they added George Hill. While I was a fan of his this season, many didn’t like his minutes and the Bucks were even rumored to be sniffing around backup guards at the trade deadline. They ultimately didn’t trade for a point guard, but they added Carter in the buyout market after missing out on Goran Dragic.

That turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Carter was a much better fit than Dragic would have been. That being said, Dragic’s ball-handling and creation abilities would have been useful when Middleton went down. They need more creative offensive players but their limited resources make that difficult since everyone wants creative offensive players.

Carter shot nearly 56 percent from 3 with the Bucks and over 53 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s. He really benefitted from the open looks that the Bucks stars created for him as he shot over 59 percent on 1.4 wide-open (closest defender over six feet away) looks per game.

Can Carter shoot that well for a full season? Of course not, that would make him one of the greatest shooters ever.

But if he’s a reliable 36-to-38 percent 3-point shooter over a full season on the same volume? That would make him a very valuable backup guard.

He played very well in his limited playoff sample and had many calling for him to be playing deeper into the Celtics series. I tend to agree, they didn’t have much else to lose by tossing him out there and seeing what happened if they were content with Allen being hunted.

Beyond his fit and how well he played, Carter is only 26 years old and will be 27 by the start of next season. Milwaukee desperately needs to figure out the future of its point guard depth because for as solid as Hill was this season (still finished with one of the best individual net ratings and if the Bucks are crushing his minutes, who cares what his stat line looks like), he’s old and they can’t rely on him for too much longer.

Why would you willingly let a guy go who fits your roster, is seemingly a great teammate, and will likely be very affordable? They can sign Carter to a non-Bird extension for up to 120 percent of his previous salary.

Putting my personal bias for Carter and wanting a West Virginia Mountaineer legend on the roster, it just makes sense for them to bring him back even if Mike Budenholzer didn’t trust him to play against the Celtics. They don’t have a ton of resources and giving Carter a chance next season to prove himself (yet again) seems like a no-brainer.

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We won’t have an answer on this for a while but I hope Carter is with the Milwaukee Bucks next season.