The small forward position these days has been the most problematic spot for the Milwaukee Bucks front office. They once captured lightning in a bottle with the trade deadline acquisition of P.J. Tucker in 2021. But they’ve been trying to replace his defensive prowess and versatility since then.
Last year, general manager Jon Horst went with fringe players who’ve shown the potential to grow into something more like Semi Ojeleye. And this year, he went with aging but proven veterans like Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder to fill out the small forward rotation. Both times, they were failures (Although Giannis Antetokounmpo wouldn’t agree with this word choice.)
The Milwaukee Bucks need help on the wing
This coming offseason, pieces like Jae Crowder, Joe Ingles, and Wesley Matthews are set to be unrestricted free agents. Those three, in particular, brought their own contributions to the Bucks roster to varying degrees. Horst will definitely have his hands full trying to replace them for the new-look Bucks.
But the Bucks are over the salary cap, and they don’t control their own first-round pick until 2028. This means that they don’t have much wiggle room to sign high-profile free agents and will instead have to rely on low-cost contributors on prove-it deals. (There’s a reason for Horst’s seeming preference for washed veterans, after all.)
That being said, here are a few affordable under-the-radar signings the Bucks could consider to shore up their roster at the small forward position.