Reaction and Analysis: Milwaukee Bucks add free agent Cameron Payne

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 14 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 14 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Following their blockbuster trade for All-Star guard Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks freed up a standard roster spot.

Many wondered which direction the team might go in to fill it position-wise, but adding a backup point guard always seemed like a legitimate possibility. Indeed, that is the route they have taken, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Payne is inking a one-year deal with Milwaukee to fill out their 15th standard roster spot.

Reaction and Analysis: Milwaukee Bucks add free agent Cameron Payne

Even before the Lillard trade, one of the glaring holes on Milwaukee’s roster for most of this past off-season was the lack of a true backup point guard. From the moment Payne was released by a rebuilding San Antonio Spurs team, Bucks fans were clamoring for the front office to go after him, as he was arguably the best name out there at the position for the past few weeks.

Management listed and patched up a major hole on the roster to give Milwaukee a true backup to Damian Lillard.

Payne is a quality addition. Over the last four years in Phoenix, the guard averaged 9.8 points and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 38.4 percent from behind the arc. The guard, 29, will provide more scoring, passing, and shooting off of Milwaukee’s bench. Not to mention that the guard is an experienced player, having appeared in 42 playoff games over the past three years in Phoenix.

Depth was a concern for this team, and while Payne doesn’t solve the issue entirely, he certainly helps the Bucks out in the grand scheme of things.

Barring another unforeseen trade, this is the roster the Milwaukee Bucks will roll into the 2023-24 season with. With the backup point guard vacancy now filled, the team must now keep an eye on its wing defenders, as it’s primarily now occupied by three very young players and Jae Crowder. That may be something they aim to address next, though it may be farther down the line.

Overall, it’s hard to hate the week that the Bucks have had with their significant roster changes.

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