Ultimate 2021 NBA Offseason Guide for Milwaukee Bucks Fans

The Milwaukee Bucks are fresh from an NBA championship – fresh as vegetables just picked from your backyard and brought fresh into the house – but nonetheless, they have decisions to take the offseason that are already upon us.

As the NBA offseason already starts this week, not only will the Bucks begin to carry out their offseason plan, but a number of players will also have to make critical decisions about their future with the franchise. Like this shortened break, let’s jump right into the crucial decisions that general manager Jon Horst and his staff will have to make before next season’s tip.

Player settings

Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis will each have to make decisions about whether to accept their player options in the 2021-22 season. Forbes’ decision date comes July 28, while Portis has to make his before August 1. Do not be surprised to see that both players reject them and hit the open market. They played crucial roles for Milwaukee this season and will easily be able to earn more than the $ 2.4 and $ 3.8 million, respectively, they would earn if they accepted their options.

NBA draft

Just nine days removed from their victory 6 over the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee will have to figure out what to do with their draft election on July 29th. They currently have the first pick in the second round (the 31st overall pick) thanks to their trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire PJ Tucker. Milwaukee could stick to this choice and add a potential contributor who will be under valuable team control for three years. They could also pack it as part of a larger deal if they want to actively upgrade their list to their championship defense.

PJ Tucker

PJ Tucker is one of the Bucks’ few rotation players who are likely to become free agents this year, they actually have a good chance of holding. When Milwaukee acquired him around the trade deadline, they also acquired his bird rights, which allow them to go over the salary cap on his next contract to retain his services. This is huge because they are far above the salary cap as it is and have very few assets to upgrade their list by next year. After playing lockdown defense throughout the mail season, Milwaukee will likely do everything they can to keep Tucker on a one- or two-year deal.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Best known as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo carved out a small but important role on the team this year. He was the hype man on the bench, the guy who would come into play to inject energy into his teammates, and the defensive stopper who sometimes played a possession at the end of the quarter. The Bucks can make a $ 2.1 million qualifying bid to bring him back next year – something they will have to decide on before August 1st.

Sam Merrill, Mamadi Diakite and Elijah Bryant

The Bucks have individual decisions about this trio of young players at some point in the offseason. Sam Merrill has an expiration date of August 8 on his $ 1.5 million contract for 2021-22. He showed some promise in his rookie campaign as a player who could turn into a combo guard and place the floor from the perimeter. Mamadi Diakite and Elijah Bryant are a little different somewhere as there are no dates in place that guarantee their contracts. Basically, Milwaukee can tighten them out of season and make a decision to release them at any time before the start of the season.

Player expansions

Donte DiVincenzo enters the final year of his rookie deal and is eligible to sign an extension until the day the NBA’s regular season tip-off. He was an integral part of the Bucks’ starting lineup this year and showed improvement in his outside shooting and overall offensive play. He is also a dynamic and versatile defender who excels at the ball. Milwaukee would be wise to see how his health develops through the summer and early fall before pulling the trigger on a new deal.

We can also technically put Brook Lopez in this category. He enters year 3 of his four-year extension he signed with the Bucks, but Milwaukee can offer him another three-year extension beyond that. However, you can forget about it, as Milwaukee cannot offer the big man a contract that does not even kick in until he is 35 years old.

Trade Exceptions

If the Bucks dip their toes into the trading water, the two trade exceptions have to work with a total of $ 5.8 million – one for $ 1.7 million and another for $ 4.9 million. It would be difficult for them to perform such a move without including Lopez or DiVincenzo, but it is something worth keeping an eye on.

Exemption from taxpayer intermediate level

This is the Bucks’ primary way of acquiring new talent through free agency (apart from veteran minimum contracts). The Bucks can use the $ 5.9 million taxpayer exemption to sign up a new player. If Portis rejects his player option, this would be the most Milwaukee can offer him (it is likely he can come close to doubling this in the open market). Otherwise, the Bucks will look at getting another player with that money and adding a role player that they desperately need for next season.

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