3 Milwaukee Bucks’ free agents least likely to return next season

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - APRIL 08 (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - APRIL 08 (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Serge Ibaka, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Miami Heat: Tyler Herro
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 02 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Serge Ibaka is unlikely to return to the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency

The Milwaukee Bucks acquired Serge Ibaka in a massive four-team deal at the trade deadline, but after less than half a season together, the two sides appear set to go their separate ways.

Milwaukee smartly brought in Ibaka to bulk up their center position and have the big man serve as an insurance policy while they awaited Brook Lopez’s return. As Lopez recovered from a back issue that forced him to go under the knife in December, Ibaka played incredibly well and earned his spot in the rotation. However, once Lopez returned, Ibaka’s time went out the window, and the veteran was demoted to being a spectator most nights. After playing a mere 22 minutes in the playoffs, it is unlikely that Ibaka will willingly return to Milwaukee as he tests free agency.

Although he is not the Ibaka that he once was, the veteran center will certainly have a market, and there are several teams that could use a player of his caliber. While his market value is uncertain, a team will pay to bring aboard the former All-Defensive honoree based on name brand alone. There are organizations out there that will offer him not just more money but also more significant of an opportunity than the Bucks can, and after spending these past few months glued to the sidelines, that is likely what the big man is searching for. No one could truly blame him either.

Unless the Bucks were in the market for a Bobby Portis replacement as he ponders what to do with his upcoming player option, it would be hard to see Ibaka back in Milwaukee. Although he was a great locker room presence and someone that played well when he was given the chance, the opportunity is just not significant enough to envision Ibaka coming back, especially on some discount like the Milwaukee Bucks would have to offer him.