3 Milwaukee Bucks’ free agent targets with ties to Brook Lopez

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 07 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 07 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Golden State Warriors: Gary Payton II
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 13 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks could target Gary Payton II in NBA free agency

During his lone season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017-18, Brook Lopez briefly played with a former member of the Milwaukee Bucks in Gary Payton II. Although the 29-year-old has bounced around the league throughout his career, Payton found new life with the Golden State Warriors as he helped them win a championship this season. Having proven that he could help a contender in the proper role, perhaps the Bucks could pursue a reunion with the point guard.

After struggling to get consistent playing time in previous seasons, Payton finally got a legitimate shot with Golden State as he averaged 17.6 minutes per game this past season. He certainly took advantage of the opportunity by averaging 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals, which were all new career highs by far. While he can score the basketball and space the floor, Payton is known for his play on the defensive side of things above all else, as the 6-foot-3 guard has been a reputable defender throughout his career. For the Bucks, bringing back Payton would give them another key piece defensively to utilize, which could strengthen their efforts on that end of the court further. Not to mention that Payton has that familiarity with vital pieces such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez, which could factor into his decision.

Despite how crucial he was for the Warriors throughout their title run, Payton will likely not be in the market for a significant deal this offseason. He played on the minimum this past season, and he will likely command something similar in unrestricted free agency, whether that is offered by Golden State or some other franchise. If Payton is out there, the Bucks should try to bring him in to upgrade at the backup point guard position with a Swiss Army Knife type player.

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Stay tuned to see if the Milwaukee Bucks pursue any of these upcoming free agents with ties to Brook Lopez.