Milwaukee Bucks: Playing buy or sell with 2019 free agents

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /
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Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /

Malcolm Brogdon

A strength of the Milwaukee Bucks last season was their guard rotation, with All-Defensive First Teamer Eric Bledsoe starting alongside Malcolm Brogdon. George Hill, Sterling Brown and Pat Connaughton all played better than expected. On the surface, that may suggest this team can handle losing Brogdon in free agency.

What that perspective fails to realize is that Brogdon was uniquely necessary to what the Bucks accomplished. He is a low-usage, off-ball player who has the chops to slide on-ball when needed. He hit the vaunted “50-40-90” club last season as a knockdown shooter for a team built on outside shots. Defensively he can guard pure point guards or large wings, as he demonstrated in the Eastern Conference Finals defending Kawhi Leonard.

Keeping Brogdon may require shelling out a large amount of money, as much as $20 million per year or more. As a restricted free agent, they retain the rights to match any contract he signs with another team, but there will be plenty of interest in his services. The Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics — nearly any team in the league could use a player like Brogdon.

The reason the Bucks should keep him around no matter the price is that their championship window is open now, and there is virtually no cost to the Bucks other than pure money. His cap hold is just $3 million, so they can work to re-sign other free agents and then sign him over the cap at any number up to his maximum. If the ownership group is comfortable entering the luxury tax to go for the prize, keeping Brogdon around is both necessary and possible.

Verdict: Buy