Milwaukee Bucks: Playing buy or sell with 2019 free agents

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /
1 of 6
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images /

The Milwaukee Bucks have an important and complex offseason ahead of them. Which 2019 free agents should they prioritize, and which should they let go?

The Milwaukee Bucks have an offseason packed with importance ahead of them. 2019 NBA free agency will likely decide whether the Bucks remain championship contenders or slip back into the path of teams probably too far away to matter.

Khris Middleton is the team’s highest-profile free agent, and understandably so. He became only the third player since 2001 to earn an All-Star berth (Michael Redd, Giannis Antetokounmpo) and he is a strong two-way player at the league’s most important position. He will command a max contract in free agency.

Brook Lopez was one of last summer’s biggest bargains, an All-Defense candidate who hit more 3-pointers than any other center in the league despite making just $3.4 million. Malcolm Brogdon was Rookie of the Year two seasons ago and at times was the team’s second-best player in the Eastern Conference Finals. Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, Tim Frazier and Bonzie Colson are all unrestricted free agents as well.

If Milwaukee can bring back its core then it will have every reason to expect to be in title contention. The Bucks were clearly the league’s best regular season team last year, losing to a more experienced Toronto Raptors team in a very competitive playoff series. Giannis Antetokounmpo is only getting better with each passing year as he enters his prime.

Yet losing one or more members of the core will begin to pull the Bucks down, and their options to replace them will likely be limited. If they bring everyone back, they will be firmly in the luxury tax — a tall ask for a small market team. Which players does the team need to prioritize bringing back? Which ones can be allowed to leave, or at least wait out the rest of the process?

Tim Frazier and Bonzie Colson are candidates for the veteran’s minimum (or a two-way contract) and are reasonable options to fill out the roster, but should not be prioritized in any way. Here are the five higher-profile free agents the team will be negotiating with this summer.