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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2. Cameron Payne

Signing an offense-first backup point guard was not the worst idea when they had Jrue Holiday. It would have provided a change of pace off the bench and another capable scorer if the offense bogged down in the playoffs, but Milwaukee had already traded for Damian Lillard. The future Hall of Famer is an elite scorer and offensive engine leaving little need for Payne.

He lasted just 47 games with the Bucks. Payne averaged 6.2 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per contest and shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range. The 6’3 guard is a subpar defender, which was not something they needed. With Lillard playing 35 minutes every night there was little time for Payne to shine.

The Bucks realized their mistake and traded him with a second-round draft pick to get Patrick Beverley before the deadline. Pat Bev is known for his defense, despite the chatter about his effectiveness. It was a superior fit, and Payne’s production improved in Philadelphia.

Fit matters. The Bucks failed to realize how much the departures of Mike Budenholzer and Holiday would impact their defense. They could not afford to have another below-average option, which made this signing go up in flames.