All good things come to an end, and with the Golden State Warriors winning the 2022 NBA Finals last Thursday night, Milwaukee’s time as reigning NBA champions came officially to an end. At least we had the memories we made along the way.
Having lost the afterglow of the title, the reality of the team begins to set in a little more thoroughly. I’d strongly suggest you go read Mitchell’s offseason primer to orient the state of play, but it mostly comes down to the fact that we’ve next to no wiggle room. The idea that GM Jon Horst will gamble with the big three seems pretty far-fetched, both as a matter of talent retention and on-court balance. Assuming the team moves forward and signs both Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis to deals, the best the team will manage in free agency is an additional $6.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception. That kind of money almost always goes to guys looking to rehabilitate their market value which has worked out for us in the past, but also presents downside risk.
We’re in an extremely tough place for the most part because the injuries of last season cloud all evaluation. Was Brook’s high level of defense in about 10 games a portent of what he still has in the tank this year, or was his relative drop off in the playoffs going to be the norm? If Khris is in, does that fix most everything that plagued us? Could the core continue to produce at a high level while shedding some salary by letting Pat Connaughton or Bobby Portis walk? It is all a very strange brew, and it comes to fruition just as the organization has to seriously start evaluating how they can keep the ball moving forward. As we’ve seen, Giannis will get you most of the way there, but he can’t get you all the way there by himself; something has got to give eventually, it is just a matter of whether it goes right now or later.
Those questions are a lot less fun to consider when you bow out of the playoffs much earlier than anticipated.
General Manager Jon Horst NBA Draft & Off Season Press Conference (Bucks on YouTube)
Not too long of a watch at ~25 minutes, and Jon Horst is a master of the non-answer. Still, there seems to be a suggestion that we are looking at every option when it comes to trading our 24th overall pick in this week’s draft. On top of that, Wes Matthews and Jevon Carter should have spots on the roster if the contract demands match with what we’re willing to give (i.e. vet minimums). Oh, and we’re looking for “shotmakers”, whatever that means. Assume we won’t be doing too much this offseason.
2022 NBA Offseason Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (HoopsRumors)
Funny that Jordan Nwora figures so largely in this offseason primer. Classic case of a player who shows enough flashes for you to think that somewhere deep down inside there’s a positive rotation player. He’ll look great in Orlando Magic blue this fall.
This came out of the above press conference, alongside updates that Khris Middleton is feeling good from his knee injury. Still a little unclear where George Hill is at and whether he actually had neck/back/oblique/full body surgery to fix himself up. That we haven’t heard about his retirement already would seem to suggest he’s going to get that $4 million guaranteed come hell or high water.
One of those manpower-intensive ideas that will live on in marketing school case studies from now until eternity. I’m personally upset Lowes didn’t decide to buy into the synergy with the team. Their tagline, “Do it right for less” fits like a hand in glove with our own stated principles. “Hello Moto” is fine for now, I guess, even if I still haven’t actually seen a Motorola product in over a decade.
There is no portent of doom to come than when your namesake turns on you. Unfortunately for Brook Lopez, our very own LopezRules has opened up the floodgates with, “Failed Expectations and Shift Happens”. And I quote!
First, and this breaks my heart, but Lopez needs to be moved. :( Luckily for the Bucks they might have a pretty good mobile center of the future already on their roster. It is time for Giannis to become a center.
As I wrote in the opening, it is an idea I’ve become more comfortable with as time goes on, though I admit finding his successor is a daunting task. Still, if we’re looking for ways to get younger while forcing some philosophical changes to our strategic approach, moving off the focal point of everything we do on defense would certainly shift things up.
Besides the Lopez talk, LopezRules also brings some numbers on winning statistical factors, talks about the flaws of our previous team building principles, and more!
(Don’t forget to also check out R983’s latest ranking piece, “NBA Top 50 Players 2022/23 Season” or lightning-rod-man’s trade look around piece, “Is there another Grayson Allen type of trade out there?”, too!)
The Social Media Section
The peace sign indicates he’s on his way out of town, yet he also posted a story shot from the Nomad in Milwaukee. Confusing times for the offensive maestro.
Prepping for Summer League
Khris, Nwora, Mamu, Luca, and Wigginton are quite a unit
He’s living as close to a dream as any of us can imagine
Come back for the minimum and see if you can’t win the starting job again
Giannis the top comment on this post asking for us all, “Tell me why????”
Also, I just assumed that woman he was with at that gala from a few weeks back was his wife. He is not married nor has he been married. I’m sure some of you pointed that out to me in the comments. Consider this my attempt at being an ombudsman/editor.
I know I said I was going to write some draft profiles last week and then didn’t deliver. Well, I will say that no matter what happens this Thursday, the Brew Hoop Podcast will return when myself, Adam, and Kyle get together to evaluate the draft and set the table for free agency. For those of you in the comments who do listen, I’m sure that news is like stumbling across an oasis in the middle of a desert.
Looking forward to getting back to it!