9 Bucks free agent signings that crashed and burned during Giannis era

The Bucks must learn from these regrettable free-agent signings.
Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Serge Ibaka

The Bucks traded Donte DiVincenzo, Rodney Hood, and Semi Ojeleye to get Ibaka and a couple of second-round draft picks in 2022. The 6’11 big man was an elite defender in his prime and helped the Raptors win a championship in 2019. Milwaukee hoped he could be a key bench big man as they looked to repeat.

Ibaka averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game down the stretch. His playing fell off in the playoffs. He never left the bench six times and failed to play more than 8.5 minutes in any contest.

The Bucks still re-signed him in the 2022 offseason only for things to go further south. Ibaka rarely played and struggled when he did. He averaged just 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game over 16 contests. The 33-year-old was traded at the 2023 deadline only to be waived by the Pacers.

Serge Ibaka went to Bayern Munich after his NBA departure. Milwaukee knew what to expect. The 6’11 big man was clearly declining, but this deal quickly crashed and burned. Ibaka even left the team as they mutually agreed a trade was best. The Bucks must recognize red flags and avoid them. They virtually repeated history by re-signing Jae Crowder in the 2023 offseason, but at least he stuck with the franchise for the entire season.