NBA Rumors: The Milwaukee Bucks had interest in signing Chris Boucher

Feb 18, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Before they ultimately re-signed Serge Ibaka, it appears that the Milwaukee Bucks had interest in signing a big man from an Eastern Conference rival.

As reported by HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Bucks were among a handful of teams, including the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Chicago Bulls, to express interest in signing Chris Boucher. Ultimately, Boucher elected to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors on a new three-year deal worth $32.5 million, which is far more than the Bucks could have offered. Still, it is interesting that they were among the teams to show some level of interest in signing the 29-year-old big man.

NBA Rumors: Reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks’ prior interest in Chris Boucher

The Milwaukee Bucks’ interest in Chris Boucher was completely justifiable. At the time, they were still in the hunt for some frontcourt depth off the bench behind Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, and Boucher would have been a great option. The big man has turned himself into a solid role player in Toronto over the past two seasons, having averaged 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. In theory, Boucher could have given the Bucks a solid rebounder and interior defender while also providing some insurance at the center position, which was a significant issue for the team in the 2021-22 NBA season due to Brook Lopez’s abrupt back surgery. On that note, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports recently reported that the Bucks checked in on another center in Thomas Bryant, so it appears they were doing their due diligence around the league, which is justifiable.

Boucher would have been a compelling fit with Milwaukee, but he understandably decided to stick around in Toronto for the next three years. With Boucher off the market, the Bucks added depth to the center position by re-signing Serge Ibaka, which was a surprising move for most. Yet, bringing Ibaka back is a feasible move for the Bucks with their other options to bulk up the center position starting to grow slim in free agency. Not only will Ibaka provide another available body ready to hit the court, but he brings solid scoring, interior protection, toughness, and experience to the table. While the financial specifics have yet to be released at the time of this writing, Ibaka’s deal is also likely worth the minimum, so it will not cost the Milwaukee Bucks a considerable amount of cash.

Ultimately, Milwaukee’s interest in Boucher likely never materialized into anything more than just simply checking in. There was no shot that they would be able to outbid the Raptors, and Toronto can also offer the big man a more prominent role in an environment he is familiar in. Though they struck out on Boucher and Bryant, the Bucks managed to get a solid backup in Ibaka, and they are likely done making any notable tweaks to their center position this offseason.

Next. NBA Trades: 5 eye-catching deals the Milwaukee Bucks should consider. dark

Stay tuned to see what other moves the Milwaukee Bucks may be plotting this NBA offseason as rumors continue to swirl around the franchise.