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They’re still sweeping the confetti from the Fiserv Forum floor, but the 21st Century pro sports calendar never waits. Key Dates:

2021

July 29: 2021 NBA draft

Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (3 p.m. PDT)

Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (9:01 a.m. PDT)

Aug. 8-17: Las Vegas Summer League

Sept. 28: Training camps open

Oct. 19: 2021-22 season opens

2022

Feb. 20: All-Star game (Cleveland)

April 10: End of regular season

April 12-15: Play-in tournament

April 16: Playoffs begin

June 2: NBA Finals start

June 19: NBA Finals Game 7

Whispers of the NBA moving to a Christmas season kick-off annually were unfounded- the 2021 free agency period and draft will be the last late finishes for the NBA, but the 2021-22 season starts up pretty much like the pre-pandemic seasons.

Holiday and Middleton are in Tokyo (Team USA lost to France, with Holiday going 27 min and leading the team with 18 min.). This makes an off-season recovery program problematic for 2 of the 3 major Bucks investments (Middleton played just 7 min). I do not expect these guys to play any preseason action, and I do think they’ll be on minutes restrictions for much of the early season. This gives young players like Jordan Nwora, Donte DiVincenzo, Mamadi Diakite, and Elijah Bryant an opportunity to gain valuable game experience and prepare them for more meaningful action next playoff season. The Bucks desperately need to get these young players capable of playing important minutes because they simply cannot afford to bring Tucker or Teague back. And it’s going to take some massaging to bring Bryn Forbes or fan favorite Bobby Portis back (both have player options).

The Bucks should benefit from continuity if they ultimately are forced to “run it back” considering the roster turnover from a season ago. The only holdovers to see major minutes in the 6/7 man playoff rotation were Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, and Connaughton.

The tax threshold is $140M, and the Bucks have very little they can do to add FAs since they’re already at $143M (https://hoopshype.com/salaries/milwaukee_bucks/). They can offer some $$$ to their guys, but his much do you risk? The Bucks will return the top scoring offense in the NBA in 2021-22, but it still seems like they need better shooting. They were at or near the top in almost every meaningful offensive category in 2020-21, but the playoffs proved that they really need more. Can they get more out of the big 3? Theoretically yes, but with the Olympics, what impact will a shortened off-season have on these guys, who logged more than 40+ min/game most of the playoffs? Will the experience of this Championship prove to be a catalyst for a level-up from both Middleton and Holiday? It could.

Horst has a unique challenge with this roster- they were statistically superior and were able to sidestep a few obstacles to take it all. With no draft assets and limited trade pieces, it may be very difficult to improve this roster with any new blood. The improvements may need to come from within…

Last edited by Music City
Original Post

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I believe the Bucks have the 31st overall pick in this draft?  Basically an end of 1st round pick.

The perfect guy to step up is Nwora.  He’s very similar in build and style to Khris Middleton.  Dude looks the part and can shoot.  Hope he gets a lot of consideration coming off the bench.

Diakite seems like more of a project but man if he could even step in and give them 8-12 solid minutes that would help immensely.

Hard to imagine the new season starts in less than 3 months.  The quick turnaround will absolutely be a challenge for this group even more so with Holiday and Middleton playing for TEAM USA.  

@ammo posted:

After getting beat by France there is no assurances that the USA will be in the Medal Round.  Holliday and Middleton might get planty of rest.

Without Holiday today, they'd have lost by 20.

All they need to do to get to the medal round is beat Iran and the Czech Republic. I think they are still fine.

The real problem is that the rest of the world has caught up. Of the 15 guys that were on the 3 All-NBA teams this year, the USA Olympic team has one (Lillard). Of course, Durant would have made it had he played more games, so let's say they have two. The other guys on the ALL-NBA teams who could have played declined (Curry, LeBron, Chris Paul, Kyrie, Butler, Beal, George) and Harden showed no interest either. Curry hasn't played since May 20th. Put even 2-3 of those guys on the team and it's 20 point blowouts every game.

5 of the ALL-NBA 15 guys were born outside the US. 3 members of the first team (Giannis, Luka, and Jokic) were foreign-born. Gobert and Embiid were the other two.

Team USA is still the most talented, but they only have 2 guys this year that are sure HOFers (Durant and Lillard). Guys like Booker, Tatum, and even Middleton may make it, but it's not like previous years where they had 6-8 first-ballot guys on the team.

@Music City posted:


Holiday and Middleton are in Tokyo (Team USA lost to France, with Holiday going 27 min and leading the team with 18 min.). This makes an off-season recovery program problematic for 2 of the 3 major Bucks investments (Middleton played just 7 min). I do not expect these guys to play any preseason action, and I do think they’ll be on limits restrictions for much of the early season. This gives young players like Jordan Nwora, Donte DiVincenzo, Mamadi Diakite, and Elijah Bryant an opportunity to gain valuable game experience and prepare them for more meaningful action next playoff season. The Bucks desperately need to get these young players capable of playing important minutes because they simply cannot afford to bring Tucker or Teague back. And it’s going to take some massaging to bring Bryn Forbes or fan favorite Bobby Portis back (both have player options).

The Bucks should benefit from continuity if they ultimately are forced to “run it back” considering the roster turnover from a season ago. The only holdovers to see major minutes in the 6/7 man playoff rotation were Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, and Connaughton.

The tax threshold is $140M, and the Bucks have very little they can do to add FAs since they’re already at $143M (https://hoopshype.com/salaries/milwaukee_bucks/). They can offer some $$$ to their guys, but his much do you risk? The Bucks will return the top scoring offense in the NBA in 2021-22, but it still seems like they need better shooting. They were at or near the top in almost every meaningful offensive category in 2020-21, but the playoffs proved that they really need more. Can they get more out of the big 3? Theoretically yes, but with the Olympics, what impact will a shortened off-season have on these guys, who logged more than 40+ min/game most of the playoffs? Will the experience of this Championship prove to be a catalyst for a level-up from both Middleton and Holiday? It could.

Horst has a unique challenge with this roster- they were statistically superior and were able to sidestep a few obstacles to take it all. With no draft assets and limited trade pieces, it may be very difficult to improve this roster with any new blood. The improvements may need to come from within…

Giannis, Middleton, Holiday, Connaughton, and Lopez are under contract for next year. DDV is also, but the Bucks can extend him if they want or wait until he's a restricted free agent next year. Those 6 are all back, unless DDV gets moved in a trade package. It's unlikely, but not impossible.

Tucker might be back. The Bucks have his Bird rights so they can pay him whatever they want. They also can't replace his salary slot anyway, so maybe they give him 2 years and 20 million and keep the wear and tear low on him until the playoffs. They are already over the luxury tax, so it's not like paying him is going to do anything other than take some more money out of Lasry/Edens pockets. I think they can afford it.

https://hoopshype.com/rumor/1535907/6

If Tucker returns, that's 6 of the 7 rotation guys in the playoffs right there and DDV. Thanasis is an RFA and he's playable in the regular season, so that's 9. Nwora, as Music says, is probably the guy that's going to be the most likely to make a leap from garbage time to contributor. Can he be as good as Forbes? I'd say yes. Diakite is intriquing as well.

Portis can sign with the Bucks for 6 million, but he'll probably get 3 times that on the open market. You can't blame him for leaving if and when he does.

Forbes is unplayable in the playoffs. Not a huge loss if he opts out. It would be nice to have him for those January/February dog days to soak up a lot of minutes when he can play against a lot of bottom tier players and his defensive liabilities aren't as glaring.

If Teague wants to come back at the vet minimum, that's a no brainer too.

Then it's who might come to Milwaukee to chase a ring at the end of their career. I mentioned Oladipo as that type of guy, but some team that can't get stars to go there usually will likely overpay him (at least based on his injury risk).

Portis is the only guy likely to leave that would hurt them during playoff time (assuming Tucker is back).

Last edited by MichiganPacker2

Giannis, Lopez, Holiday, and Lopez are all under contract together the next 2 seasons.   Lopez is a FA after that and Middleton has a player option for the 2023/2024 season.

Pat C and DDV are under contract next year and Pat C has a player option the following year and DDV has a qualifying offer the following year.

Forbes and Portis have player options this upcoming year and will be interesting to see if they opt out.   Portis can make a lot more money elsewhere.  Forbes plays zero D but is a reliable 3pt shooter.  

Ideally, they both opt in and Tucker comes back and they run it back one more year.  If a Nwora can emerge, this team should be really good again in 2021/2022.

The Bucks just need to add some "regular season" guys that can eat up some minutes and allow them to win enough games to be a top 3 or 4 seed. This year proved that sitting guys out for rest, winning the equivalent of 52 games over an 82 game season, and being a #3 seed is better than winning 60+, playing more regular-season minutes, and being a #1 seed. The Bucks won 2 of the 3 high-pressure road games they had this playoff run (they won Suns Game 6 and Nets Game 7, and lost Nets Game 5 when Durant went off). They don't need the home-court advantage and are better off optimizing health.

They need guys like Forbes who can be effective against crappy teams and soak up minutes but aren't necessarily going to be getting minutes in the playoffs.


When it comes down to it next year in the playoffs (assuming everyone is healthy), the rotation will shrink to 8 guys. 6 are already set (Giannis-Middleton-Holiday-Lopez-DDV-Connaughton). If they can somehow bring Tucker and Portis back, that's the whole rotation. Otherwise, they have to replace those two guys.

Well, I’m not sure seeding is simply all that important.  It didn’t help Utah or Philly and if the Lakers were healthy I’m not sure that Phoenix makes it out of round 1.  

In the end, I know everyone thinks the Nets are the runaway favorite but IMO the top 5-6 teams in the league are all pretty evenly matched.  What tends to matter is experience - specifically playoff experience- will win out over youth and talent and home court advantage.  

The Bucks rarely lose at home and they have proven they can go on the road and win so I’m less worried about seeding than I was even a year ago.

Last edited by Tschmack
@Tschmack posted:


Ideally, they both opt in and Tucker comes back and they run it back one more year.  If a Nwora can emerge, this team should be really good again in 2021/2022.

Nwora really is an intriguing young guy.  He's got a very good looking shooting stroke.  Like a lot of young guys, he needs to learn to play harder and needs to learn how to play a smidgen of defense at least, but he does have the potential to be a plus guy off the bench in the coming years. 

I would fast track Nwora- dude is already a very good 3 point shooter- quick release, step back, has good offensive awareness. Test him early in the season and see what he does with the opportunity.

I read that the best the Bucks can do is the MLE because they’re over the cap (no Bird rights). Showing cap hits for Jon Leuer and Larry Sanders at $5M is just a swell reminder of how those deals continue to fuck them over…

@Music City posted:

Showing cap hits for Jon Leuer and Larry Sanders at $5M is just a swell reminder of how those deals continue to fuck them over…

Well, he really doesn't appear to be much of a basketball player...

Watch The Larry Sanders Show [HBO) - Stream TV Shows | HBO Max

Bobby Portis back to the Bucks for 2 years and 9 million (2nd-year player option).

That's unbelievable.

The Bucks have two veteran rotation players (Connaughton and Portis) making less than 10 million combined next year.

Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
·
Free agent Bobby Portis has agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal to return to the Milwaukee Bucks, with a second year player option, sources tell .

OMFG

Bobby Bobby Bobby

Meanwhile, a desperate Suns team gets bent over big time agreeing to a 4 year deal with Chris Paul.   That is more insane  than Portis coming back for probably 1/3 what he’s worth.  I mean, the Suns do realize he’s a 36 year old with a checkered past of injuries and choking in the playoffs.  

Regardless, say what you want about CP3 but he’s a ruthless mofo.  Dude has made an economic killing in this league at the expense of his health and winning a ring. Sounds like banana boat bullshit to me.  Enjoy the ride Phoenix.  You won’t win shit with that guy.

Last edited by Tschmack

Portis contract means that the Bucks still have their MLE (just under 6 million) to use on another player. They have Bird rights on Tucker, so they can pay him anything they want.

I thought Portis might be back, but for the MLE. When Torrey Craig gets 2 years and 10 million from the Pacers, you know Bobby gave up major money to stay.

The guess is that when he opts out next year, the Bucks will pay him well.

I guess Bobby is taking the Jordy stance of...."How much money do you need?"

Maybe nobody offered him anything? I seriously thought someone would sign Bobby for like 3 years $40 million.

Last edited by Boris
@Boris posted:

I guess Bobby is taking the Jordy stance of...."How much money do you need?"

Maybe nobody offered him anything? I seriously thought someone would sign Bobby for like 3 years $40 million.

Shams Charania
@ShamsCharania
·
Portis turned down potential deals from the Mavericks and Heat, sources said. After six NBA seasons, Portis has found a home -- and will play to repeat as a champion next season. twitter.com/ShamsCharania/…

I see it MP2

As opposed to Chris Paul... Championships >>> MONEY!

Last edited by Boris