Predicting the Bucks' perfect starting lineup after ideal offseason

This Bucks starting five makes them a title contender.
Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Bucks are feeling enormous pressure after two straight first-round playoff exits. Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to win. He is never shy about asking the franchise to upgrade their roster, but the Bucks have just one tradeable first-rounder and even that cannot be moved until after the 2024 draft takes place.

Milwaukee could make moves. It won’t be easy as the new second apron restrictions set in. Finding an upgrade means trading Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Damian Lillard, or Bobby Portis. Giannis discussed how continuity is important (subscription required), which could mean the Bucks are prepared to run it back next season.

One starter is gone as they cannot afford to retain Malik Beasley. He will be looking for significantly more than the Bucks can offer in free agency. Milwaukee only has the minimum for other options, so finding an upgrade won’t be easy. After the ideal offseason, their starting five looks like this.

PG: Damian Lillard

Lillard’s first season in Milwaukee was a disappointment. He averaged 24.3 points, 7.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 35.3 minutes per game, but his shooting percentages dipped. Dame will always have defensive issues. His offensive game must outweigh those shortcomings.

Milwaukee struggled on defense for significant stretches this season and must find ways to improve there if they plan on being serious title contenders. Getting a defensive stopper on the wing would help, but is difficult given their restrictions.

The Bucks need Damian Lillard to be a superstar. He must stretch the defense, be an elite scorer, make plays, and open things up for his teammates. It is a ton to ask of an undersized guard who turns 34 this summer, but Milwaukee must have it.

The Bucks plan to bring back a fellow star on the wing, but they need him to be significantly healthier in the 2024-25 campaign.