3 Milwaukee Bucks’ free agent targets with ties to Mike Budenholzer

Apr 22, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Los Angeles Lakers: Dwight Howard
Nov 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

For better or worse, familiarity is something that the Milwaukee Bucks value highly when putting together their roster year in and year out.

Sometimes it works out well, like when the front office signed Wesley Matthews in December for what would be his second stint with the Bucks. The swingman played great and became a pivotal piece for the team to the point where he was a full-time starter. However, there are times when it has not worked out quite as well, such as the Bucks adding George Hill, another player from that 2019-20 team, as he had an abysmal year this past season. Still, familiarity is something that the Bucks will value once again this coming offseason, and perhaps they could aim to retool the roster with some players that have ties to head coach Mike Budenholzer to bring in some familiar faces. With that being said, let us look at three players that fit the description.

3 Milwaukee Bucks’ free agent targets with ties to coach Mike Budenholzer – Dwight Howard

Although he is not the player he once was, Dwight Howard could be worth taking a flyer on for the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason.

The Bucks are set to face some uncertainty at the center position as Bobby Portis and Serge Ibaka are both eligible to hit free agency, so bulking up their depth with Howard would make sense. Over the past three seasons, where Howard has adapted to a bench role, he has averaged 6.9 points on 64.3 percent field goal shooting while tallying 7.3 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. While those numbers do not leap off the page, they show that Howard is still quite capable of providing quality minutes in a backup role at this stage in his career. The 36-year-old could give the Bucks another reputable interior defender while also providing more rebounding on the other end.

As for Howard’s relationship with Budenholzer, the tandem was together for one season when the latter was coaching the Atlanta Hawks in 2016-17. Although his time with the Hawks was short, it did not stop Howard from outright raving over Budenholzer’s coaching, highlighting just how much he loved having Bud as his head coach and how the two had a “great connection.” Perhaps joining forces with Budenholzer once again, especially on a team that is at the forefront of contention, is a desirable scenario for Howard as he enters unrestricted free agency this offseason.

If the interest was there, Howard would not be a costly addition for the Bucks, which would be yet another big plus, given their financial restraints. In that case, Howard would be a low-risk addition for a Milwaukee team that should look to bolster their depth in the frontcourt this offseason.