Why the Milwaukee Bucks should take a flyer on T.J. Warren in free agency

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 16 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 16 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

After falling short in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks will have some work to do this offseason as they look to retool for next season.

Whether it be through trade, the draft, or free agency, two things that the Bucks need to target are more wing depth and second unit scoring. These were two prominent areas that plagued the team throughout all of last year, and improving in both should be rather high on the offseason to-do list for general manager Jon Horst. To provide some assistance in both, the Bucks should kick the tires on soon-to-be free agent T.J. Warren, who could potentially be a hidden gem on the open market.

Why the Milwaukee Bucks should take a flyer on T.J. Warren in free agency

The most significant reason why the Milwaukee Bucks would be wise to add T.J. Warren is due to his scoring. Throughout his NBA career, Warren has averaged 15.5 points per game while burying 50.7 percent of his field goals and 35.7 percent of his 3-pointers. The forward is a fearless scorer, and the Bucks desperately need more of that, as evidenced throughout the entirety of last season. According to NBA.com/stats, Milwaukee’s second unit ranked 27th in points per game during the regular season, which was a sizeable issue that carried over into the postseason. Bringing aboard a reputable scorer like Warren could work wonders for this bench that had trouble putting points on the board for the entire season and notably hindered them during their second round matchup with the Boston Celtics.

Adding more wing depth will also be a priority for the Bucks. Once Khris Middleton went down in the playoffs, the team’s lack of depth there was beyond evident. Mike Budenholzer relied heavily on 35-year-old Wesley Matthews to play significant minutes, while Grayson Allen was practically a liability whenever he saw minutes. Pat Connaughton was solid, but he could not shoulder that load by himself in Middleton’s absence. Bringing in another quality wing like Warren would be an obvious move if the team has the opportunity to do so. The forward would be a seamless fit on this Milwaukee roster and he would patch several gaping holes they must currently address.

Now, there are questions about Warren as he braces for unrestricted free agency this offseason. The forward has played a mere four games over the past two seasons as he has dealt with stress fractures in his foot, so it is uncertain what his value could be on the free agent market. Would any team hand Warren a lucrative deal without seeing him play for virtually two seasons? Perhaps, but it would not be surprising to see Warren take somewhat of a “prove it deal” to showcase that he is still capable of playing at a high level, similar to what Victor Oladipo and Dennis Schroder both did last offseason with their respective teams. If so, the Bucks should pounce on the opportunity to make a splash by adding a flat-out lethal scorer.

Ultimately, depending on his asking price, Warren could be the definition of a low-risk, potentially high-reward signing for the Milwaukee Bucks. He fills two major holes in bench scoring and wing depth, and despite his recent injury woes, the forward could possibly be an impact player upon his return if he can pick up anywhere close to where he previously left off. Other teams will be able to offer Warren more money than the Bucks, but that should not stop them from making a call.

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Stay tuned to see if T.J. Warren surfaces on the Milwaukee Bucks’ radar in NBA free agency.