The Bucks’ offseason has been an up and down rollercoaster marked equally by both what they were able to do and what they were not. Below, we take a look at the team’s moves in the offseason, draft, and move into the 2016-17 season.
Free Agency: B
The Bucks may not have added a big name like they did the offseason before, but they did add some interesting veterans to address some real issues: shooting, defense, and leadership.
The Bucks first move was signing Mirza Teletovic to a 3-year, $30 million deal. Teletovic is a stretch 4 who hit 39% of his three-pointers last season. He can help space the floor, and aide a dreadfully poor perimeter shooting team. Last season, Milwaukee finished last in three-pointers attempted, and only managed to convert at a 34% clip from beyond the arc. The only downside is that Teletovic is already 30, but one skill that ages well is shooting. Add in that Teletovic will not be expected to be anything more than a role player and the deal is a solid one. Grade: B
Fresh off back to back trips to the Finals and an unexpected 4th place finish at the Olympics, Matthew Dellavedova has already played in a lot of big games and at only 25 years old, a 4-year, $38 million deal may pan out to be a bargain for the Bucks. A feisty defender and a career 40% shooter from deep, the Bucks addressed two of their biggest weaknesses. From an on the court standpoint, Delly is not a player who needs the ball to be effective (He played with Kyrie and LeBron after all), and that is a key reason he figures to be a great fit for the Bucks. With Giannis taking over at the point, Delly can actually play the same way he did in Cleveland, especially if Giannis evolves his game to be more like King James. Grade: A-
The Bucks’ most recent move was signing Jason Terry. While at first glance this might seem like a “keep getting them checks” deal, Terry is a career 38% shooter from beyond the arc. Add in his championship experience, and familiarity with Jason Kidd, and it’s a low risk, moderate reward deal. Grade: B-
The Draft: B-
Thon Maker is a tantalizing prospect. Elite athleticism and length are always enough to get a player into the NBA, but as his Summer League showed, he is surprisingly polished as well. If Maker hits his ceiling, the Bucks have a player capable of impacting the game in a major way in every facet of the game. So how did he fall to 10? Well, no one knows how old this guy actually is. His polish and potential are worthy of being a top-5 pick if he’s actually 19. But many teams around the league decided he was undraftable because HE COULD BE 25. I’m all for taking gambles in the draft because that’s all it really is, but at 10? With this pick, John Hammond could look like a genius or he could look like he should be working for the Kings. Time will tell, but because Maker could have potentially been available in the 2nd round, the pick seems irresponsible at 10. Grade: C-
Malcolm Brogdon is a winner, team-player, and hyper efficient. He was one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft, and while he doesn’t appear to be destined for stardom, he could an excellent second unit player who can do a little bit of everything. Brogdon is a smart and tough player, and his time at Virginia proved he will do anything needed of him to win. At 23 years old, he is a little old, but can contribute immediately. Grade: A
The Big Man Debacle: C
The Bucks’ prized acquisition from the previous offseason was big man Greg Monroe, who was productive in his first season with the Bucks, but simply wasn’t a good fit. The Bucks actually considered trading him at the deadline, but were unable to find a good deal. They decided to re-sign Miles Plumlee to a 4-year $52 million deal, which combined with Monroe and John Henson’s contracts, mean the Bucks have $146 million tied up in three big men.
The Bucks were certain they’d be able to move Monroe, but that has proved difficult thus far. Adding Teletovic and Maker to an already crowded frontcourt means someone is going to be the odd man out and Jason Kidd will have to balance egos and production between the five of them and franchise cornerstone Jabari Parker. In particular, this could really hinder the development of Thon Maker. While each individual move is clearly defensible, when looked at together, the moves seem like an abject disaster. The Bucks are going to have to make a move to figure this situation out. Plumlee deal: B+; Monroe non-trade: D
The Bucks have had an eventful offseason and while they were able to address some real needs in free agency, some of the moves seem a bit head scratching. Drafting Maker at 10 was a real stretch, especially given the questions of his age, but he may be ready to contribute sooner than expected. The Plumlee deal in a vacuum was a good one, but the inability to move Monroe really hurts them. Milwaukee will be counting on a big leap from Giannis and Jabari, and for Jason Kidd to somehow have this roster gel by figuring out an effective rotation.
Final Grade: C+
Photo courtesy of Bucks/NBA.com.