4 Essential moves for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2023 NBA offseason

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 21 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 21 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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There’s really not much to say about the Milwaukee Bucks’ season, considering how it ended. The Bucks came up short in their quest for their third NBA championship, losing to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in just the very first round of the playoffs. It was a humbling defeat, to say the least, and no amount of future moves can erase the sting of this past postseason.

At this point, the only way out is forward. The Bucks have to confront a lot of what went wrong in this postseason. While there were many factors that led to the Bucks’ defeat, there are a few essential moves that they must make this offseason in order to be contenders again next season.

Here are some essential moves the Bucks front office needs to make this offseason to stay alive in this rapidly-changing Eastern Conference landscape.

No. 1 – Get younger and more athletic

It’s not a secret at this point that the Bucks have consistently had one of the oldest rosters in the NBA throughout the Mike Budenholzer era.

The Milwaukee Bucks entered the 2022-23 season as the oldest team in the NBA, with an average age of 29.47 years old. (They got older, too, when they added 32-year-old Jae Crowder and 37-year-old Goran Dragic.) This lack of youth was a major factor in their early exit from the playoffs, as they were no match for the Miami Heat’s athleticism and hustle.

The Bucks’ lineups in the playoffs also typically included one of Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Joe Ingles at all times. Though they’re excellent players in different areas of the game in their own right, those three routinely got beat on defense by younger and quicker players. Their cuts were also less forceful and imposing, and as a result, they did little for the Bucks’ offense when their outside shots weren’t falling.

This offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks should look to address those offensive and defensive deficiencies by getting much younger.

In the short term, getting younger also means staying healthy for longer periods of time. As it stands, it’s been three years of key Bucks players getting injured in the worst moments. They’re lucky it didn’t cost them much when Donte DiVincenzo went down in their championship season, but for the third straight year, the Bucks were not at full strength in the playoffs. Middleton was a step slow and was clearly not himself, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was not 100 percent after hurting his back to start the series against Miami.

Getting younger also helps future-proof them for a time when Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are either no longer on the team or no longer spry enough to provide star-level production. Giannis Antetokounmpo is still in his prime, but he is not getting any younger. The Bucks need to start building a team that can compete for championships for years to come, and that means adding younger players who can grow and develop alongside Antetokounmpo. Right now, the only players on the roster below the age of 25 are MarJon Beauchamp and A.J. Green.

There are a number of free agents out there who can fill that need both ways. Stanley Johnson is both young and athletic and is a stud on defense who’s shown an ability to shoot the ball well this past season. Troy Brown Jr. is of the same mold and might be swayed by the promise of a larger role next to the Greek Freak.

Wherever the Bucks find their youth and bounce, there’s no question that younger is the way to go moving forward.