5 hidden gems for the Milwaukee Bucks to target in NBA free agency

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 15 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 15 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Indiana Pacers: Oshae Brissett, Jalen Smith
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 15 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Due to their financial restraints and a lack of desirable assets, the Milwaukee Bucks will likely not be making any sizeable moves this offseason.

Instead, they will focus on retooling the supporting cast, which should start with retaining a pair of vital rotational pieces in Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton. Elsewhere, Milwaukee’s roster has its share of flaws, such as the need for a quality small ball four, more wing depth, and upgrading at the backup point guard position. To solve some of these issues, the front office could look to make moves in free agency and hope to strike gold, as they did last season by adding two solid veterans in Wesley Matthews and DeMarcus Cousins, who were just sitting at home before being called in. The Bucks will have to get lucky this offseason, and here are five low-cost free agents that could end up being hidden gems for the team to pursue.

Jalen Smith could be a hidden gem for the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency

Jalen Smith’s career has been an odd one to this point. After being selected 10th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2020 NBA Draft, Smith spent the first two seasons primarily on the bench, having struggled to get minutes. The big man was dealt to the Indiana Pacers this past season, where he played like the former 10th overall pick that he is as he finally got a legitimate shot to prove himself. Smith’s strong close to the 2021-22 season with the Pacers could make him a feasible unrestricted free agent target for the Milwaukee Bucks.

There were rumblings that the Bucks had some interest in Smith leading up to the trade deadline last season, as reported by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Smith made sense as a target due to an injury to Brook Lopez that caused him to miss most of the season, as the center would have been a quality insurance policy. Ultimately, the Bucks went for more experience and added Serge Ibaka while Smith went to the Pacers. Now, with Ibaka likely to depart in free agency and Bobby Portis eligible to test the market, the Bucks should look to shore up the frontcourt depth, and Smith may be a reasonable target.

While it came in a small sample size of just 22 games, Smith showed potential with the Pacers by averaging 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and one block in 24.7 minutes per game. He was efficient on the offensive end in that span by knocking down 53.1 percent of his field goals and 37.3 percent of his threes. Numbers like that could unquestionably be captivating for the Bucks, especially as they had previously expressed interest in acquiring him. Not only would Smith add some depth, but he would also inject some youth into this roster, as he recently just turned 22-years-old. Smith could be a young piece worth developing, which is something the Bucks do not have much of right now.

It is unclear what Smith may command in unrestricted free agency, but the Bucks should inquire, as the big man could be a hidden gem to bolster their frontcourt.