Grading Jon Horst’s moves for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

Mar 16, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: DeMarcus Cousins, Dallas Mavericks: Dorian Finney-Smith, Sterling Brown
Dec 23, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading Jon Horst’s moves for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22: The verdict

It was certainly an eventful year for Jon Horst and the Milwaukee Bucks as they made a surplus of transactions that ranged from good, bad, to mixed.

Ultimately, the good may outweigh the bad here, and the Bobby Portis deal is a significant reason for that. The center just had the best season of his career on a bargain bin of a contract, and while the Bucks could not have envisioned Lopez getting hurt one game into the regular season, having Portis there helped keep the team afloat in his absence. As previously noted, the Grayson Allen trade remains a good move, even if he was not outstanding in the playoffs. The Bucks acquired a starting shooting guard that just had the best season of his career without giving up considerable assets and managed to lock him up on a team-friendly deal over the next few years. These two moves, along with the addition of Matthews, shoulder a significant amount of the good going into this grade.

As for the bad, it is hard to overlook letting Tucker walk and handing Hill a two-year deal that was fully guaranteed for $8 million after the veteran was just coming off a lackluster playoff run with the Philadelphia 76ers. Tucker was a key piece in that title run as a starter, and while hypotheticals are useless, perhaps he could have helped them this season had the team not “disrespected” him. Meanwhile, the Bucks did need a backup point guard, but Hill was clearly not the answer, and even though Horst did right his wrong by adding a far better option in Carter mid-season, the team did not utilize him properly. Perhaps Horst can right that wrong this offseason by trading Hill, but at the moment, it is a blemish on his record. Although he managed to correct them by trading them at the deadline, the Hood and Ojeleye signings were also far from impactful.

The Ibaka trade will be debated heavily for years to come, but ultimately, it made sense to make at the time. Had Lopez suffered any sort of setback in his rehab process, the Bucks would have been in huge trouble due to a lack of center depth. Keeping Cousins would have made sense, but there was no bringing him back at that point. Perhaps opinions will change when fans see what the Bucks do with the two picks they acquired in that same trade.

Despite some head-scratching moves, it was far from a disastrous year for Horst and the Bucks. Considering the finite assets that Horst has to work with in trades, free agency, and the draft, the former Executive of the Year was far from perfect, but he did a decent job of retooling the roster in the grand scheme of things, especially with the additions of Portis, Allen, and Matthews.

BTBP Grade: B-

Next. Predicting landing spots for each Milwaukee Bucks’ impending free agent. dark

Stay tuned to see what kind of moves Horst has in store for the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason.