From the KFIZ Sports Desk – Bucks’ Offseason

This is the first in a series of blog posts on taking a look at different stories in Wisconsin sports this summer. Riley Haas – our summer sports intern will be bringing you these articles. His first post took a look at where the Bucks stand going into the offseason and what some potential targets are in free agency. 

Bucks Offseason

By: Riley Haas, 6/30/18

Coming off
a season that saw the Milwaukee Bucks get bounced in the first round of the
playoffs for the second straight year, the team is looking to make some moves
this offseason to help them stay competitive. They began that process by using
their only pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to select Donte DiVincenzo, a combo guard
from Villanova.  DiVincenzo was an
applicable pick for Milwaukee who is in need of perimeter shooting, rebounding,
and, as always, defense.  He will have an opportunity to earn quality minutes
as a rookie due to his ability to fill multiple roles on the court and can
provide scoring for Milwaukee off the bench. In addition to his scoring abilities, DiVincenzo also showed his
athleticism by soaring in for put back dunks throughout Villanova’s most recent
title run and registering the highest max vertical leap at the NBA Combine with
a measurement of 42 inches.

DiVincenzo was a promising start to the offseason but if they want to continue
trending upwards they need to make a splash in free agency as well. The issue,
however, is that they will need to make some quality additions while being
strapped for cash. With the expected
2018-19 NBA salary cap to be about one-hundred and one million dollars, the
Bucks don’t have a lot of money to work with in free agency.  The first
decision they must make is whether to re-sign restricted free agent Jabari
Parker.  Parker will surely field offers
from other teams around the league but Milwaukee will have the opportunity to
match any offer he may get. Parker came
to the Bucks shouldering high expectations for a new dominant duo of Giannis
and Jabari but that hasn’t exactly came to fruition due to two separate ACL
injuries for Parker.  He still has a lot to prove but shouldn’t be counted
out yet as he has shown flashes of excellence even with those injuries

of if they decide to retain Parker, the Bucks will still need to look for
frontcourt help. The limitation of cap space will make it hard to
maneuver through free agency but another option for the Bucks is to better
themselves through trading.  It would be wise for the Bucks to try to put
together a package of role players to trade away to help clear cap space and
address some of their needs. A popular combination of players the Bucks could
trade is the trio of Matthew Dellavedova, Tony Snell, and John Henson who will
collectively eat up around $30 million of the payroll next season. With
that being said, the market of NBA teams that are willing to take on these players
and their contracts would most likely be slim.

If the
Bucks can manage to clear up some cap space in order to go after some free
agents, there are a few players they should target heavily. Julius Randle, Ed
Davis, Nerlens Noel, and Michael Beasley are all realistic options for the
Bucks but some will be easier to obtain than others.  Randle is coming off
a career year with the Lakers where he averaged 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds
per game. There will be multiple suitors
around the league trying to get a meeting with Randle this summer and this is
only going to be a possibility for the Bucks if they can clear up cap space
since Randle will be asking for a large contract.  Davis, Noel, and
Beasley will all be much more probable free agent targets for the Bucks. Ed Davis would be a great fit to come off the
bench and provide elite rebounding and interior defense and his price tag
shouldn’t be outrageous. Nerlens Noel signed a qualifying offer with the Dallas
Mavericks last summer in an attempt to raise his value over the season which
didn’t exactly go according to his plan.  The Bucks could use a big man
like Noel who hasn’t yet reached his potential in the NBA and could come at a
discount.  Michael Beasley previously
played for the Bucks during the 2016-17 NBA season and is coming off somewhat
of a bounce back year with the Knicks. 
Beasley is an automatic scorer and good rebounder who would provide much
needed frontcourt scoring off the bench for the Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks have a plethora of roads they can travel down this offseason
but must make sure that they improve their roster from last year. Drafting
DiVincenzo was a start but when free agency officially commences at 12:01 am ET
on July 1st, Bucks fans all over will be watching and waiting to see who they
will be welcoming to Milwaukee.  Finding free agents at a bargain is
always a challenge but if the Bucks can add a few advantageous pieces to their
team, the first season in the new Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
just might be one to remember.