With the offseason bearing down on us, the moment many of us anticipated has finally approached, as the Milwaukee Bucks may look to clear up their still muddy free agency outlook by trying to offload contracts according to Marc Stein:
Milwaukee is offering draft compensation this week in hopes of finding a team willing to take on the contract of Tony Snell or Ersan Ilyasova via trade, league sources say, as the Bucks seek to create added flexibility to retain elite status in the East— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 17, 2019
If you’ve been listening to Locked on Bucks at anytime over the past few weeks, they’ve talked about this scenario aplenty in advance of the draft. While discussing the many potential scenarios Milwaukee could go with the 30th pick, it’s always seemed relatively likely they may offer it as a carrot to lure teams into taking on one of their longer-term contracts.
The question then becomes: what is the relative value of the 30th draft pick vs. increased cap flexibility heading into the most important offseason in franchise history (at least until next summer rolls around)? It’s a difficult quandary. With Milwaukee already out two future first round picks and several seconds from the Eric Bledsoe, John Henson/Delly and Nikola Mirotic trades respectively, they have little draft capital remaining. When used properly, those types of cost-controlled pieces can be quite valuable as your cap starts piling up with high-priced players who contribute to your wildly successful franchise. On the other hand, what value does a 30th selection really bring you next year, and possibly even the year after, when your sights are as high as Milwaukee’s likely are? When it’s championship or bust, the last pick in the first round rarely contributes to those types of aims.
I recommend revisiting Mitchell’s offseason outlook at which Bucks could stay or go. The question of whether this ownership group will be willing to pay the luxury tax lingers. Marc Lasry has paid lip service to it, but lips don’t cash luxury cash checks. In reality, gaining some flexibility beneath the cap seems most beneficial to try and re-sign Brook Lopez using cap space (if Mirotic’s cap hold is renounced), rather than relying upon the limited mechanisms available through the MLE. Philosophically, although giving up draft picks goes against every tenet of team-building I hold dear, I tend to agree with the Bucks approach here. A championship is within their grasp, and I think losing Lopez would dramatically alter their odds of attaining those heights.
Tony Snell’s player option makes it seem like that contract would be tougher to move, and who knows if the 30th pick would even get it done. Given Ersan’s runs for just one more year before a team option, that draft capital may suffice. We’ll have to see, it all depends on what sort of suitors are out there, I suppose.
What do you think of this potential move? Seem savvy, or would you rather they sit tight, test the waters and get another young player to mold? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll keep Brew Hoop updated if anything further develops.