3 potential low-cost free agent options for Milwaukee Bucks to consider

Jan 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Portland Trail Blazers: Ben McLemore
Feb 14, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

When your salary cap sheet is tied up by three stars, it becomes very hard to tweak around the edges via free agency. The Milwaukee Bucks have had success shopping in the bargain aisle in the past but it has also led to some misses.

This past offseason, the Bucks took fliers on Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood. Neither player ended up finishing the season with Milwaukee as they were traded at the deadline to free up roster spots.

Pat Connaughton was initially signed to a two-year deal that averaged under $1.7 million per season if you wanted an example of what a successful bargain bin deal can look like. Although the Bucks have their $6.4 million taxpayer mid-level exception this offseason, they’ll also need to sign guys to veteran minimum deals or a small chunk of that exception to fill out their roster. Here are a few guys that they should consider. These won’t be the sexiest names in the world but are dart throws that could fill a role

Ben McLemore is a potential low-cost free agent option for the Milwaukee Bucks

Am I listing Ben McLemore because he was my favorite player going into the 2013 Draft and I’m not ready to give up on my dream of him becoming, at least, a solid role player? Possibly, but let’s not focus on that!

McLemore hasn’t lived up to his seventh overall draft pick status but he’s still carved out a nice role in the league as a shooter that can get hot for stretches. The 29-year-old (that makes me feel old) played 64 games with the Portland Trail Blazers last season after signing a minimum contract and had a pretty decent season all things considered.

He averaged 10.2 points on 56.7 percent true shooting, hitting 36.2 percent from 3 with over 77 percent of his shots coming from behind the arc. McLemore definitely knows his role offensively and sticks to it. In the last four seasons, nearly 79 percent of McLemore’s shots have been 3s and he’s hit 37.5 percent of them.

He’s not really in Bryn Forbes’ tier as a shooter (Forbes shot 40 percent in his four seasons before coming to Milwaukee) but McLemore would also likely be cheaper than the nearly $2.4 million that Forbes got with the Bucks.

McLemore has experience playing alongside stars that can create open looks for him. His best season, 2019-20, came when he was playing with James Harden in Houston. He got nearly three wide-open 3-point shots per game and hit on over 42 percent of them. Giannis Antetokounmpo could certainly create a similar amount of open 3s for McLemore.

I haven’t talked about much else regarding McLemore’s game because, well, there’s not much else to talk about. He’s a below-average defender, not much of a passer, and doesn’t score around the basket well. But that’s why he’s a low-cost signing!