The Milwaukee Bucks off-season was interesting. It had moments that made a lot of sense, and some that left you scratching your head. This report card will be broken down into signings/re-signings, the draft, free agency, and an overall.
Signings and Re-Signings: A
The Milwaukee Bucks made some great decisions with personnel. The team re-signed coach Jason Kidd to a 3-year deal worth $18 million. Extending Kidd ensures that MAP can develop under his eye for another few years. It cannot be stressed enough that the coach needs to stick while a young core develops. Kidd is also the best coach the Bucks have had in years, as he took a 15-67 team to the playoffs in his first year.
The team also extended General Manager John Hammond, who has had his fair share of blunders, but has also looked like a genius at times. Should Giannis Antetokounmpo develop the way he is expected to, John Hammond will look like one of the smartest (and possibly luckiest) GMs in the NBA. The free agency period made up for a poor draft, as the Bucks were able to get much-needed shooting in Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic.
The Bucks also gave Giannis a 4 year, $100 million extension. While it seems expensive for a player who is not a superstar, it is appropriate for what Giannis means to the team. Giannis at point guard is unstoppable for some teams, as he racked up 5 triple-doubles throughout the season. Giannis is the best player on the Bucks, and when the core MAP gets to its prime, the NBA better watch out.
The Draft: C
The NBA Draft for the Bucks was average at the very best. The Bucks did not trade up, which is fine, but with shooters available at the 10th pick, the Bucks drafted Thon Maker, a 7'1" big man. Thon did look good in the Summer League, but he has to get his fouling under control. This will happen as he learns the NBA game and how to control his body, but the pick didn't fulfill any needs.
The Bucks then drafted guard Malcolm Brogdon from the University of Virginia. Brogdon was a good choice for where he was drafted, and like every rookie, only time will tell if he paid off. The Bucks had another 2nd round pick, but this was sold to the Golden State Warrior for cash. The Bucks did not trade for any other pick or players. They just sold the pick for cash. While this could be used for signing players, the pick was more valuable than cash.
Free Agency: A
The Bucks free agency period made up for the draft. The Bucks signed Matthew Dellavedova, who brings not just an Australian accent, but solid defense and good 3 point shooting, two things the Bucks lacked last season. Delly brings championship experience, being in 2 NBA Finals and winning 1 of them. He seems to love it in Milwaukee and should help the Bucks in 2 areas that they desperately need help in.
Mirza Teletovic was signed as well, and like Dellavedova, he brings improved 3 point shooting. Teletovic made more 3 pointers coming off the bench for the Phoenix Suns than Khris Middleton made while starting. This does not mean Middleton is a bad shooter, but shows that the Bucks offense does not revolve around the 3 point shot. With Teletovic, there can be a spark off the bench to help improve the 3 point game.
The Bucks also signed Jason Terry to a 1-year deal. This may seem like a waste of $1.5 million, but I feel that this signing was to give a young team a true veteran in the locker room. Whether or not the Bucks make the playoffs this year, Terry will share his wisdom with the players.
While this does not fit in free agency, I feel I should mention the trade for Michael Beasley. When Khris Middleton went down, the Bucks traded point guard Tyler Ennis for Beasley, which was a good trade. Beasley brings playoff experience and improved shooting much like Dellavedova does.
With everything in mind, the Bucks earn a B+ overall for their off-season. It was not perfect, especially with the draft, but the signings and re-signings of personnel and a solid free agency period boost the grade. With the injury of Middleton, it is hard to see the Bucks in the playoffs. However, the team has certainly taken steps to set up a bright future in the Cream City.