The Milwaukee Bucks brought most of the band back and added some key pieces. What can we conclude from the 2019 NBA offseason?
The Milwaukee Bucks entered the 2019 NBA offseason with a host of decisions ahead of them. Although they locked up Eric Bledsoe to a contract extension during the season, five of the top eight players from their playoff rotation were free agents this summer.
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Bringing everyone back was financially punitive, but other than Nikola Mirotic (who left the NBA to play in Europe) there was a path to bringing everyone back.
For a small-market team that historically avoided the luxury tax, many wondered whether the team would wade into the tax to bring the gang back.
Before the free agency fireworks began the Bucks flipped the 30th pick in the NBA draft to the Pistons to move Tony Snell, increasing their cap space in order to free up room for Brook Lopez. The returning player in that deal, Jon Leuer, was on an expiring deal and was stretched.
The biggest splash of the offseason was re-signing All-Star Khris Middleton to a contract worth $178 million over five years, shaving about $12 million off of a full max.
Starting 2-guard Malcolm Brogdon, fresh off a superb shooting season and a strong Eastern Conference Finals, found himself highly sought after by potential suitors in restricted free agency.
Rather than play the matching game, the Indiana Pacers and Bucks worked out a sign-and-trade deal that brought compensation back to the Bucks and let Brogdon join the Pacers on a four-year, $85 million deal that makes him the second-highest paid player in team history.
Around the rest of the league superstar movement and wild surprise moves leave a very different landscape than the one we saw at the end of the season.
As Milwaukee leans into continuity and gears up for a repeat of last year’s strong season, what are three takeaways from the 2019 NBA offseason?