Bucks must prepare to lose key cog in NBA Free Agency after new rumor

Milwaukee Bucks v Minnesota Timberwolves
Milwaukee Bucks v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

From the moment the Milwaukee Bucks signed Malik Beasley in free agency last off-season, there was a ticking clock as to how long he'd be with the franchise.

It was always viewed as a "prove-it" deal that would allow the guard to showcase his skills on a team at the forefront of title contention when healthy. Beasley had a solid year for the Bucks, and now, he will hit free agency, with a litany of suitors rumored to be lining up to offer him a new deal.

Per The Athletic's Kelly Iko (subscription required), the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic are all showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Bucks must prepare to lose key cog in NBA Free Agency after new rumor

This new rumor isn't overly surprising, given the high demand for outside shooting in today's NBA. Teams were always expected to line up in an attempt to lure the guard away from Milwaukee, and it's now becoming a reality.

The odds of Beasley returning are slim to none. The reality simply is that the Bucks don't have the resources to retain him unless they are selling him on sticking with a contender. It's not clear if a raise is all Beasley wants this off-season, but after taking a major discount last season, he likely wants one. The Bucks will not be winning any financial bidding wars.

Orlando being interested might just cement that Beasley has played his final contest with the Bucks. They're set to have spending money this off-season, and after shooting 30.9 percent from distance in the NBA Playoffs, the third-worst among all 16 teams, they will likely not be afraid to spend to add perimeter help. He'd be an excellent fit there with franchise star Paolo Banchero.

If this writer was a gambling man, he'd bet Malik Beasley will be playing down by Disney next season after the Magic throw a very nice raise in his direction.

The Bucks must operate as if he will depart. That will leave the front office searching for help at an already-thin wing position, but whether it's through the draft or promoting someone else in-house like A.J. Green, they will have options. Milwaukee's management likely understands the situation they are in with Malik Beasley and is planning accordingly.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.