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Roundtable: Responses to the Bucks’ Decisions Over Time

How fans feel about the team’s moves will vary, depending not just on who, but on when.

Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Three Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Welcome back to the Brew Hoop Round Table, where we ask that everybody use coasters and please don’t feed the pugs from the table, thanks. Today, we take a step back and review some of the Bucks’ recent decisions, based not on what we think of them overall, but what we thought of them at different times, which includes learning new information. The topics will be drafting Donte DiVincenzo, signing Ersan Ilyasova early in free agency, signing Brook Lopez later in free agency, and allowing Jabari Parker to become a UFA to sign with the Chicago Bulls. Let’s have a chat!

Drafting Donte

After 1 minute, I thought...

Kyle: This is fine, no complaints.



There were a number of players that I preferred at 17. DiVincenzo was, at the time, specifically not among that group. I was into guys like Kevin Huerter, Elie Okobo, Lonnie Walker (somewhat), and Aaron Holiday, because I liked more of what they had to offer long-term and each of them felt like they had a stronger chance of becoming an elite something than Donte.

Adam: Why? It seemed like there were plenty of guys with greater potential as their careers continued. Milwaukee selecting Donte seemed like another draft misstep, electing for someone they thought fit their system now rather than seeing the potential for someone with a more robust, albeit raw, game to make an impact down the line.

After 1 day, I thought...

Kyle: I still like the pick, it’s not a home run swing but Donte can contribute. The trade down rumor is suspect.

Greg: I was soaking in all the different view points from fans and national media, which really did not change my perspective at all. I was still a moderate fan of the pick.


Donte may not have been my favorite prospect for Milwaukee, but he sure does have a pretty shot chart. That’s valuable around Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Adam: I still was not enamored with the pick, although I settled back into a more apathetic form of fandom feeling sad Milwaukee didn’t swing for someone younger.

After 1 week, I thought...

Kyle: This is a fine pick, no issues. Donte can come in and contribute. I think Bud will really like him.

Greg: I will echo Kyle’s thought as well. Knowing that DiVincenzo can mesh into Bud’s system only made me feel more optimistic about the pick, albeit slightly more.

Mitchell: My opinion of DiVincenzo rose a great deal over time, despite his woeful nickname. A high floor/low ceiling guy doesn’t sell tickets, but he can stabilize a roster through sheer competence. The same cannot be said for some of the Bucks’ other recent picks.

Adam: Mulling over Bud’s history of developing guys in a similar archetype to DiVincenzo, my opinion of the pick basically settled on begrudging acceptance and faith in Bud’s philosophy. I still wish that training regimen could’ve been used on someone with more upside, but DiVincenzo has the type of do-it-all skills that won’t make him a disappearing act the way many recent selections have gone.

Bringing Ersan Home

After 1 minute, I thought...

Kyle: YUCK!!!!

Greg: I was very puzzled. I thought, wait, why am I waking up to this on July 1st? Am I sure that today is not July 8th the ideal day something like this should be announced? Nope, it is the morning of July 1st and the Bucks went quick for Ersan. Huh.

Mitchell: I was floored about seeing his name come through a push notification so early in free agency. There’s plenty of basketball reasons to like Ersan coming back to Milwaukee, but really? They go in on him ASAP?

Adam: Three years!!?? Why??!!

After 1 day, I thought...

Kyle: I guess having the third year being non-guaranteed is helpful. I still don’t love it.

Greg: Okay I get the fit on the court, I just do not get the fit on the cap sheet.

Mitchell: It’s all about that non-guaranteed year. Instead of 3/21, it’s more of a 2/13, which is far more palatable. Still a bit quick on pulling the trigger, though. I wonder why...

Adam: Phew, at least that third year is non-guaranteed. Still, why??!!

After 1 week, I thought...

Kyle: I’m not a fan; the Bucks could have been more patient with the deal.

Greg: That contract just does not makes sense if they want maximum cap flexibility for the 2019 off-season! Come on!

Mitchell: The only way inking Ersan so early would make sense is if the overarching strategy is to make a crystal clear signal to Jabari Parker that the Bucks are not interested in retaining his services.

I know, I know! But what else makes sense, unless the team somehow wanted to push Parker off onto another franchise?

Adam: One of my main issues with the Ersan signing being a signal the Bucks wouldn’t retain Jabari is that another way to tell him that would’ve been to simply tell the man, “Thanks for your service, go get yours.” No need to entangle yourself in a gaudy deal that pays an pays veteran more money than he got on his last contract...why??!!

Bagging Brook For Cheap

After 1 minute, I thought...

Kyle: I love it!

Greg: Whhhaaaaa?!


Lots to like here, particularly the value.

Adam: Weird that you get better value if you wait past 12:01 on July 1st, solid pickup.

After 1 day, I thought...

Kyle: This is one of the best deals of the summer.

Greg: Wait, no one is immediately outraged or second guessing this signing. This is weird. This is good. This is a universally loved signing, I will take that.

Mitchell: What Greg said. I couldn’t find anybody that dragged the pick, even though a lumbering 275 lb. center is the antithesis of a modern big.

Adam: The NBA Twitter intelligentsia applauding this pick created a very calming sensation.

After 1 week, I thought...

Kyle: The Bucks did a fantastic job, they’ve needed a player like Lopez who can defend bigger centers, rebounds, and can shoot! I’m excited to see how this plays out.

Greg: The better Lopez twin fits in perfectly with Giannis and Bud can utilize his game effectively. I became a lot more positive about the Bucks chances to bring home a division title for the first time in almost 20 years.

Mitchell: How are the Bucks gonna find playing time for Brook, Thon Maker, John Henson, and Christian Wood?!

Adam: What Mitchell said, I was intrigued how the center rotation will look this upcoming year.

Jettisoning Jabari

After 1 minute, I thought...


I figured this was going to be decisive and ugly especially when the terms weren’t released

Greg: It had to be done.


I’ve been out on Jabari for a while now. It happened. He gone.

Adam: $20 million was too steep. $10 million might’ve been too steep. Milwaukee made the right call.

After 1 day, I thought...

Kyle: It was probably best the Bucks let Jabari go, I was hoping there would have been a sign and trade however.

Greg: It is a shame they could not get anything for Jabari, but his value was pretty much non-existent after the second ACL tear. That late night pick up game in Bay View felt like a swan song at the time, and now this confirms it.


For all parties involved, this was the ideal outcome. Why the Chicago Bulls had to be one of those parties who reached an ideal outcome sucks, but they’re the one taking on Parker so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Adam: Wishing Parker well, but the possibility of extracting value at this point was slim to none. Milwaukee was better off cutting bait than tying themselves up in a player whose potential fit with the squad doesn’t match his own opinion of his game.

After 1 week, I thought...

Kyle: Jabari’s press conference where he basically laughed at the idea of defense made me feel better about his departure. I think the liability on defense was too much to withstand and would have hurt the team.

Greg: Man, having a $20 million a year deal on the books would have me feeling a lot worse than I feel now with him in a Bulls uniform.


Adam: I hope he guards Giannis.

This is what we thought at those times. What about you? Did your opinion of these different moves change over time, or did you stick to your guns? Let us know in the comments, and keep this in mind when next season starts!