Roundtable: How the Milwaukee Bucks can improve this NBA offseason

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jevon Carter, Brooklyn Nets: Patty Mills
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Despite pushing the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination in the second round, it is clear that the Milwaukee Bucks have some work to do this offseason.

Roster issues were a significant talking point surrounding the team all year, as general manager Jon Horst made some solid moves, but also a few puzzling ones. As Milwaukee looks to bounce back next season, Horst and the rest of the Bucks front office will have a big offseason ahead as they attempt to retool the roster. With that said, let us, the Behind the Buck Pass staff, dive right into the roundtable and answer some looming questions regarding the Milwaukee Bucks.

No. 1 – What grade would you give the Milwaukee Bucks for their roster moves since last offseason and how can they learn from those moves this year?

Dalton Sell (@sell_dalton): I gave the Bucks a B- for their moves since the title run. Although it is hard to ignore several moves such as signing George Hill to a two-year fully guaranteed deal, letting P.J. Tucker leave in free agency, or signing both Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood, the front office did make good deals here and there. Bringing back Bobby Portis on a team-friendly contract was an outstanding move, while adding Grayson Allen via trade and signing Wesley Matthews in December were both great transactions made by the front office. As for what the front office can learn from this past season, the answer is that they cannot play with their food. P.J. Tucker was interviewed by Marc J. Spears recently and said that the Bucks essentially told him after the title to go find a deal from another team and Milwaukee would match it, which he understandably felt was disrespectful. With two key pieces in Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton eligible to hit free agency, the Milwaukee Bucks simply cannot mess around with either of the two like they did with Tucker, as they are too valuable.

Bradshaw Furlong (@omgbradshaw): I’d give the Bucks a C+ for the roster moves last season. I dumped on Grayson Allen a lot in the Celtics series but it didn’t cost much at all to get him and he was a valuable member of the rotation (and starting five) for most of the season. Adding Wesley Matthews for free was nice and you saw his impact in the playoffs. I’m in the minority for this opinion, but George Hill was fine. They should have got more for Donte DiVincenzo at the deadline but he was at his lowest possible trade value and there was uncertainty with Brook Lopez’s health. Going into this offseason they have to sign/trade for guys who will be able to make an impact in a playoff series and not only in the regular season.

Max Griffith (@maxgriffith44): Since last offseason I would have to give Milwaukee a D. I liked bringing in and extending Grayson Allen, and despite his let down in the Boston series, I think he can still be a valuable piece for Milwaukee. The way Milwaukee went about filling their roster spots made me confused. Why cut DeMarcus Cousins just to trade DiVincenzo for Ibaka/considerations and not play Ibaka a lick. We could have gotten another bench piece to help us out in the playoffs. The bucks not getting the outcome they wanted and seeing how those moves affected them in real time will help them learn for the coming years.

Tyler Schickert (@tschicket13): B+, I think the trade to acquire Grayson Allen for essentially three second round picks was a great move. Having the benefit of hindsight I know the George Hill signing wasn’t a great one between his injuries and lack of production. A very underrated part of last season in my opinion was the drafting of Sandro Mamukelashvili, Mamu is oozing potential and maybe be just a season or two away from becoming an important piece of the roster.

Adam Zippan (@azip70): The Bucks’ front office deserves a D grade for the horrible roster moves they have made since last offseason. They missed badly on their free agent signings, specifically Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood. Both signings were a disaster, as evidenced by them both being traded at the deadline. The signing of point guard George Hill was an absolute disaster as well, as evidenced by his lack of and poor playoff performance. The Serge Ibaka trade was made as insurance to fill the role for Brook Lopez. Once Lopez was healthy, Ibaka rarely played and was relegated to the bench.  The front office does deserve some credit for the Grayson Allen trade, as well as the Wes Matthews signing mid season, but overall, the front office needs to do a much better job this off-season in upgrading and improving the roster.

Sean Foley (@UK_Bucks): I think our roster moves for the last season were a little bit hit or miss. We struck gold with Jevon Carter albeit he wasn’t used at times during the post season (we all have our opinions on that! We signed Serge Ibaka who served a purpose when he was signed. He provided a valuable backup Centre when it was unknown what was happening with Brook’s injury so personally I would say that was a winning trade especially when you look at what we gave up. I was sad to see Donte Divincenzio leave the team, I was a big Donte fan however the time was right to let him go with us picking up and extending Grayson Allen. And we certainly did well getting rid of Semi Ojeleye – I could have provided more to the team. George Hill and Wes Mathews both served a purpose for the team, personally id say they seen more minutes than they should have but not bad signings. All round I’d give us. B for our roster moves.

Lucas Valind (@RealLucaso345): I feel like some may view this as harsh, but I have to give them a C+. I believe that losing P.J. Tucker had to have been one of the biggest losses that not only the Bucks, but any NBA team had during the last offseason. The team followed that up by trying to bring in Semi Ojeleye to be somewhat of that guy and we saw how that worked out, with him being moved by the trade deadline. The trade deadline itself was also a big bust, seeing as our big splash move was for Serge Ibaka, someone that didn’t even manage to break the playoff rotation. The one positive addition that they made was Jevon Carter, but the failure to use him as well throughout the playoffs has me believing that the past ten months or so have been a complete waste by the front-office.

Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion): I’d give the Bucks a B-, there were plenty of good and bad moves. Keeping Bobby was huge and I really liked the acquisitions of guys like Grayson, Wes, and Jevon Carter, even with the way the season ended. Obviously the Ojeleye and Hood signings did not work out, and the trade for Ibaka didn’t turn into much down the road, but I still think it could have been a lot worse. Biggest mistake for me was that they didn’t bring back P.J., but I’m not going to freak out about it because I feel like they’d be in the Finals right now if Middleton was simply healthy. They stayed a championship level team, so I’m not going to complain too much.