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 /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton. Sacramento Kings: Damian Jones
Jan 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Damian Jones is a potential low-cost free agent option for the Milwaukee Bucks

It’s another former (or, in this case, current) Sacramento King! This time it’s six-year big man Damian Jones.

The first-round pick in 2016 has bounced around with three teams since then but had the best season of his career this past season and showed growth in some interesting areas. Jones averaged 8.1 points on 70 percent true shooting with 4.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 56 games (15 starts) for Sacramento this season. The points and rebounds were career-best marks for the 26-year-old but there were a couple of other eye-catching stats for Jones.

For the majority of Jones’ career, he’s been a rim-running big. According to Cleaning the Glass, over 85 percent of his shots came at the rim in his first four seasons. He still gets most of his looks around the basket but Jones has also developed a bit of a midrange game.

In his time with the Kings, Jones took 37 long midrange shots in under 75 games. He took 15 in nearly 115 games before that. This season, Jones shot nearly 52 percent on long midrange shots which is in the 87th percentile for his position group. 10 percent of his shots came on long midrange shots which were in the 85th percentile for his position (both from Cleaning the Glass).

Adding that pick-and-pop midrange game is so important for a guy like Jones to open up space for his teammates but also for himself. If opposing defenses need to respect his jumper, it should lead to easier opportunities at the rim as well (although he’s already a great finisher around the rim — he shot nearly 88 percent at the rim this season).

Jones is also a solid rim protector with a 4.2 percent block rate for his career and has graded out well in the catch-all defensive metrics.

I’d be really interested in a signing such as this because we all know that the Bucks need depth up front whether Bobby Portis is back or not. Jones may not end up being playable in the playoffs, but that’s fine for a guy who would likely come pretty cheap. I’m more than ok with taking a chance on Jones and seeing if the midrange shooting is real while he gives them good depth minutes.