The Bucks could keep Joe Ingles
If he’s willing to take a smaller contract to run it back with the Bucks, re-signing Ingles should be on the table for Milwaukee. Ingles could value the continuity that staying in Milwaukee would give him, considering Milwaukee was where he was able to revitalize his career post-injury. The Bucks also gave him a decent role that maximized his talents.
Ingles was a low-risk, high-reward experiment that paid off quite well for the Milwaukee Bucks. He came back from a knee injury to be a savvy veteran and a positive locker-room presence for the team. On the court, he had something of a steadying influence on offense despite his shortcomings on the other end of the court.
To be sure, there are also some reasons why the Bucks might not want to re-sign Joe Ingles at age 36. For one thing, he is not getting any younger, and he might not be able to stay healthy for an entire season, given his injury history as it currently stands. Ingles might also be looking for a big contract to end his career on, and the Bucks might not be willing to pay him what he wants.
But the reality is that the Bucks may not be able to fully fill the Ingles-sized hole in their roster if Joe decides to sign elsewhere. Teams will likely be going after the bigger and more obvious names like Kelly Oubre Jr., Kyle Anderson, and T.J. Warren, who will all likely be commanding contracts for larger than the Bucks can afford.
Say what you want about how sluggish he looked half the time, but Ingles was an elite play connector who helped the Bucks move the ball and create scoring opportunities for teammates all season long. Given the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense’s propensity to grow stagnant for long stretches, Ingles was a sort of antithesis to all of Mike Budenholzer’s bad habits on that end of the floor in the same way that P.J. Tucker was on defense.
At the end of the day, there’s really no one player who can provide the same dynamism that Joe Ingles brought to the Bucks. He was a relatively complete if unathletic player across the board for the Bucks, and it’s his playmaking and shot-creating at his size that will be hard to replace. At the same time, losing Ingles isn’t the worst thing in the world, as the Bucks eventually had to hide him on defense in the playoffs. What the Bucks should be looking to get back in his place is a good defender, shot-creator, or play-connector.
The Milwaukee Bucks should still be looking to get younger overall and begin developing younger players in-house, but Ingles is a good regular-season piece who can help them do that too.
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