Free Agent No. 1: Nikola Vucevic, Center
All of the players we have examined thus far have been available for a minimum contract or the Taxpayer MLE, and players available at a bargain due to age or lack of a track record. If the Milwaukee offseason goes in a different direction, however, and they lose both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, perhaps a player like Nikola Vucevic could be available to help replace both Lopez’s size and Middleton’s scoring pop.
That’s not to say Vucevic can come anywhere close to either’s impact, but there aren’t a lot of players who could realistically be available for the Non-Taxpayer MLE that could come close to filling either’s shoes. It’s very possible “Vooch” signs for much more than the MLE, but the market for 32-year-old centers is limited and could lead to a bargain for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Vucevic became a star with the Orlando Magic, and it was there he crossed paths with Adrian Griffin. He had a solid season a year ago for the Chicago Bulls, averaging 17.6 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game for the second consecutive season. He is a career 34.8 percent 3-point shooter, hardly a sniper but perfectly adequate for a center.
Nikola Vucevic is not the ticket to another NBA championship, nor is any individual player on this list. What they do represent are opportunities to add rotation depth at a bargain, leaning on their new coach’s ties around the league to build the best possible team around Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday.