There’s a new NBA season on the horizon, and Milwaukee Bucks fans are incredibly excited after a pretty hectic off-season that involved a lot of changes. To discuss the moves and make predictions about what is ahead for this Milwaukee team, the Behind the Buck Pass staff gathered to provide their thoughts. With all of that said, enjoy the 2023-24 Bucks season preview roundtable from us.
What grade would you give Milwaukee’s off-season?
Dalton Sell (@sell_dalton): A. I wasn’t expecting the Bucks to do too much, to be quite honest. Yet, General Manager Jon Horst put in overtime, retooling this roster by adding a superstar point guard in Damian Lillard while also helping the team get younger and add more athleticism, two of the team’s biggest needs heading into the off-season. Even before he lit it up in the preseason, I was very high on the Malik Beasley signing, especially since he’s on a minimum deal. That could prove to be a huge steal and one of the team’s best signings in recent memory. Also, though I will appreciate what Mike Budenholzer did for this team, it was time for a change, and everything that Adrian Griffin has showcased thus far has me nodding my head. Great stuff all around.
William Moxon (@moxon_will): B+ – This offseason for the Bucks has been great! I think the addition of Dame is, of course, huge, and Beasley, either starting or off the bench, is another great addition with the shooting he provides, as we have already seen in pre-season. One of the things the Bucks needed to do following last season was to get younger and more athletic, and we have done that with all the young guys coming in and the new coaching staff has gone under the radar, Stotts in particular, as an assistant having known Dame too is huge. The only gripe that knocks it down is you lose Jrue Holiday’s defense, but overall, I think there are young and hungry guys ready to make an impact.
Franco Luna (@FrancoIuna): Anything less than an A would be a wrong answer in my opinion. The Bucks made the biggest move of the offseason by acquiring Damian Lillard without having to give up much depth, resigned key pieces like Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton without breaking the bank, added upgraded their existing depth and versatility with the signings of Cam Payne and Malik Beasley, and addressed a few key needs while staying relatively future-proof with promising draft picks in the second round with potentially ready contributors in Andre Jackson and Chris Livingston. The difference between the Bucks now and a year ago is just night and day, and the current roster might just be the best one we’ve seen in the Giannis Antetokounmpo era, and that it all happened in one offseason and without giving up much capital is a testament to the competence of Jon Horst at the helm.
Jack Ridenour (@JackRidenour11): Overall, I’d give it a solid A -, I mean how could you not give it at least an A? Bringing in Damian Lillard has arguably been one of the biggest moves in franchise history, and it gives the Bucks a totally different look from past years. But, they also bring in Malik Beasley, who I think will be one of the major X-factors for this Bucks rotation. Solidifying Brooke and Khris’s futures was also vital, as we now at least have some sort of guarantee what the lineup will look like for the next 3 or so years. Plus a brand new coach, this is a brand new Bucks team that other teams will have to throw the old playbook on how to guard them away, because the roster they’ll roll out is one they maybe have never had in franchise history.
Lucas Valind (@RealLucaso345): I give Milwaukee’s offseason an A. Prior to the Damian Lillard trade, I would’ve given them a lot lower of a grade. However, after adding Lillard, I think the team has put themselves in a good position to once again compete for a championship in 2023-24. Defenses will have a tough time defending both Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both of them on the floor will be able to create open looks, not only for each other, but their teammates as well.
Corey Moen (@cor_lob): I would give the Bucks an A- for their offseason. The team added solid rotational players in free agency in Malik Beasley, Robin Lopez and Cam Payne. The team’s addition of Damian Lillard though was icing on the cake, and Milwaukee should be the favorite to win it all this year.
Max Griffith (@maxgriffith44): I would give the Bucks an A for this offseason. Giannis made the front office aware of what needed to happen in order for us to retain him in the future and the front office just flat-out blew away expectations with the Lillard deal. Not only did they get Lillard, Andre Jackson Jr. and Malik Beasley are 2 additions that will help this team right away
Tyler Schickert (@tschicket13): I don’t think it can be anything but an A. They kept Khris, Brook and Jae Crowder, added Malik Beasley and then stole Damian Lillard out of the Heat’s mouth.