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Free Agency 2020

Free agency 2020: Milwaukee Bucks enter critical offseason after early postseason exit

A simple case can be made that no team in the NBA was impacted more than the Milwaukee Bucks with the season suspension. Possessing the NBA's best record, the Bucks were stripped of home court advantage throughout the postseason as the league moved to Disney World in Florida to pull off an unlikely season resumption.

Although the setting for the 2020 playoffs was unfamiliar, the way the Bucks exited was not, as a lack of shot making ability from the perimeter once again brought about their demise.

With back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo eligible to sign a supermax extension in the coming months, the Bucks will be faced with the prospect of their franchise superstar heading elsewhere in free agency if he doesn't sign on the dotted line.

With that in mind, the time for the Bucks to sit on their heels is over. With a heightened sense of urgency surrounding the franchise and multiple long-term contracts on the books, let's take a look at how the Bucks financial situation prior to the draft and free agency.

The salary figures below are from ESPN, which are based on the salary cap being the same next season as it was this season. There's a chance the figures will be higher or lower depending on what the salary cap is set at for 2020-21.

Guaranteed Salaries

Name 2020-21 Salary
Khris Middleton $33,051,724
Giannis Antetokounmpo $27,528,090
Eric Bledsoe $16,875,000
Brook Lopez $12,697,674
George Hill $9,590,602
D.J Wilson $4,548,280
Donte DiVincenzo $3,044,160
Thanasis Antetokounmpo $1,701,593

Player Options

Name 2020-21 Player Option
Robin Lopez $5,005,350
Wesley Matthews $2,692,991

Team Options

The Bucks have no team options for next season.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Name 2020-21 Cap Hold
Pat Connaughton $1,707,576
Kyle Korver $1,707,576
Frank Mason $1,523,320
Cam Reynolds $1,523,320

NOTE: Marvin Williams is also an unrestricted free agent but announced his retirement minutes after the Bucks season came to a close.

Restricted Free Agents

Name 2020-21 Cap Hold
Sterling Brown $2,023,150

Non-Guaranteed

  • Ersan Ilyasova - $7,000,000 (Guarantee date was orginally set for two days after the draft)

Dead Cap

Name 2020-21 allocation
Jon Leuer $3,169,348
Larry Sanders $1,865,546

Exceptions

The Bucks will have their $9.3 million Mid-Level Exception and $3.6 million bi-annual exception available. Using both would send them into the luxury tax and hard cap the team. The hard cap is projected to be $138.9 million per ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Cap Space and assets

What cap space?

Including guaranteed salaries, player options, FA holds and dead cap, the Bucks sit at $141.3 million entering free agency, putting them theoretically over the cap before a transaction is made.

After going all in on multi-year extensions for Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe and Gerge Hill in the last 18 months, the Bucks are left to work around the fringes unless they hit the trade table. While trading for an upgrade at the guard position makes the most sense, this could prove difficult with limited assets on the roster.

Milwaukee possess the No. 24 pick in this year's draft, acquired in the sign-and-trade deal for Malcolm Brogdon last offseason. As far as young talent goes they have Donte DiVincenzo who became an excellent rotation piece off the bench providing fierce defence and an improved outside shot from his rookie season. D.J Wilson remains an intriguing talent having flashed defensive switchability and athleticism in limited opportunities.

Averaging a league-high 118.7 points per game during the regular season, the Bucks offence once again faltered in the halfcourt during the playoffs.

In similar fashion to their exit against Toronto a season earlier, Milwaukee's outside shooting plummeted when it mattered most, connecting on just 32.7 percent from deep against Miami in the second round.

Name 3P% Regular Season 3P% vs. Miami 2nd Round
Khris Middleton 41.5% 33.3% (-8.2%)
George Hill 46.0% 33.3% (-12.7%)
Wesley Matthews 36.4% 33.3% (-3.1%)
Eric Bledsoe 34.4% 21.4% (-13.0%)
Giannis Antetokounmpo 30.4% 21.4% (-9.0%)
Marvin Williams 30.8% 20.0% (-10.8%)

A year earlier against the Raptors in the Conference Finals the Bucks went a disastrous 31 percent from three in their six-game loss.

Significant anxiety among the Milwaukee fanbase will be relieved if Giannis does indeed sign an extention to stay longterm, but the playoff concerns will remain the same if the Bucks can't find a way to generate more offence from the guard position in the playoffs.

Going back to the well with largely the same roster for a third straight season would be a bold move, but with a tight cap situation and little in the way of moveable assets, improving the roster elsewhere may prove a difficult task.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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