Milwaukee Bucks Free Agency Recap

Milwaukee Bucks Free Agency Recap
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: Kyle Korver #26 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up prior to Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Following a disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks headed into free agency on a slippery slope.

As they are progressing into the Giannis Antetokounmpo era, it was important for the team to keep their core intact, as Antetokounmpo’s contract expires next season. While the Bucks go into next season with a different lineup, they managed to make free agency moves that keep them high in championship contention.

Milwaukee Bucks Free Agency Recap 

Key Acquisitions 

The Bucks made it a high priority to re-sign a few free agents by re-signing Khris Middleton (five-year, $178 million) and Brook Lopez (four-year, $52 million).

Middleton was a crucial piece to the Bucks powerhouse season, as they won an NBA-high 60 games. Middleton averaged 18.3 points and six rebounds last season for the Bucks; he also was an All-Star for the first time in his career. Starting in all 15 of Milwaukee’s playoff games, Middleton averaged 17 points while shooting 43.5 percent from three.

Similarly, Brook Lopez was a huge part of the Bucks’ success. In the first eight seasons of his career, Lopez only had three three-point shot attempts. In just one season with the Bucks, Lopez had 512 three-point attempts, shooting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. Adjusting his game by playing from the perimeter has helped the Bucks, as it opened up more space for Antetokounmpo to go to work.

In addition to the key re-signings, the Bucks signed a few free agents that would help fill up the bench. Brook Lopez will reunite with twin brother Robin Lopez, as he signed a two-year deal with the team. In the second half of the 2019 season with the Chicago Bulls, Lopez averaged 14.5 points on 60 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

The Bucks also signed sharp-shooter Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews, two players that can respectively come off the bench.

Notable Departures 

Due to the re-signing of Middleton and Lopez that resulted in large contracts to keep them, the Bucks had to let a few players go to make up the signings. One of those players was Malcolm Brogdon, as the Bucks weren’t willing to give him a four-year deal. Instead, Brogdon signed a four-year, $85 million deal with the Indiana Pacers. Brogdon was the Bucks’ second best-player for stretches in the playoffs, averaging 15.6 points on 50 percent shooting. The Bucks also let go of big man Pau Gasol, as he signed a one-year deal with the Portland Trailblazers.

Nikola Mirotic decided to walk away from the Bucks to play in the EuroLeague. He was a big part of Milwaukee’s offense, shooting 35.6 percent from three.

Overall Outlook 

Milwaukee’s lineup for the 2019-20 season will be Eric Bledsoe and Matthews in the backcourt and Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Lopez in the frontcourt. Losing Brogdon, Mirotic and Gasol did make Milwaukee a lot smaller in size. Before, the team was lethal on size and shooting. Still, adding Korver and Matthews maximizes the Bucks’ hot shooting. With Antetotkoumpo as the leader, as well as keeping big men Middleton and Lopez and adding shooters, Milwaukee is still in a great position to become a championship team.

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Loreal Nix is a student at Central Michigan University majoring in Journalism with a minor in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts. You can usually find Loreal drawing, writing non-stop, or watching endless NBA games. Loreal strives to share her love of basketball as a sports journalist/analyst. She solely believes that any woman can pursue a journalism career in a male-dominated field being 100% themselves, not conforming to social standards. She recently started her own personal blog titled "Live In The Mix", which is featured on her social media.

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