Even with no CBA in place and the 2020-21 season’s start date up in the air, although apparently nearing an approval on December 22, this truncated NBA offseason seems poised for plenty of moves mashed into basically a month-long period. Zach Lowe dropped his annual offseason primer, including several knowledge nuggets that offer insight into how Milwaukee may be approaching November and December.
Everything revolves around the Giannis Antetokounmpo supermax decision, which he could sign this offseason and lock in a five-year deal worth anywhere between $220-250 million. That’s a lot of dough, but I’m personally of the belief that Giannis will forgo signing it to see how the front office responds after last season’s collapse in the second round.
Lowe outlined many of the rumors that have been swirling around Bucks twitter for the past few months. The most salient takeaway though: “In any case, the Bucks will be active.” Expect some sort of roster shakeup for this team, or at the very least, plenty of sniffing around in the month ahead.
Perhaps the newest name in the free agency rodeo ring was actually a potential throw-in to a player Milwaukee’s reportedly targeting:
In any case, the Bucks will be active. They love Bogdan Bogdanovic, a restricted free agent with the Sacramento Kings who would require a sign-and-trade; the Bucks have kicked around scenarios in which they also absorb Harrison Barnes, sources have told ESPN. It is unclear if they have engaged the Kings in real discussions; it’s early. (Acquiring any player in a sign-and-trade would trigger the hard cap.)
We have heard about the interest in Bogdanovic, a ball-handling combo guard who could score, drive and play-make. Still, I’d remind readers that restricted free agents aren’t easy to acquire, and would require a sign-and-trade with the Bucks likely surrendering some value — unless they did Sacramento a solid and absorbed Harrison Barnes’s salary. He’s due $22M next season (gulp) but the contract really doesn’t seem that alarming when you see it’s descending and is around $20M and $18M the next two years.
Even if that’s somewhat of an overpay, Barnes proved he could fit well within a team concept as a fourth or fifth fiddle with the Golden State Warriors, and he would shut the door on Milwaukee’s revolving door of elder Power Forwards that retire or flee the league following their time under Bud. I would remind readers that even though this will be just Bogdanovic’s second contract, he just turned 28 in August. This contract will be for the prime of his career, but he doesn’t have a lot of likely upside left.
In terms of other rumors, Lowe mentioned Victor Oladipo, albeit mostly to say there haven’t been any talks.
The Bucks are also eyeing Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, though no substantive talks with the Pacers have taken place, sources say. Other teams are monitoring the Oladipo situation, but several of them would like to see Oladipo in action before engaging Indiana, sources say.
Given a trade like that may involve sending back Bledsoe, it would be very odd for Indiana to have any interest in reuniting that pair. Lowe threw out a couple trade scenarios, but he bumped into the lack of assets that are available to the Bucks this offseason.
It would probably involve packaging at least Donte and some lightly protected picks, but I’ll be curious to see how much the front office would cough up for a player like Oladipo who was clearly still on the mend last year.
Lastly, Lowe reports no traction or possibly even talks on a Chris Paul trade. No surprise there, it sounded like that rumor had started to die down after having some heat last year.
As stated above, the real takeaway from an article like this is that the Bucks, and Giannis, are really at the epicenter of the league right now from a player personnel standpoint. His decision on the supermax dictates how plenty of teams across the league will deal with this offseason from a cap and roster standpoint.
Chief among those teams are the Bucks. And they don’t seem to be resting on their laurels.