Who are the Milwaukee Bucks?

Who are the Milwaukee Bucks?

Simply put, the Bucks have several major decisions to make this summer that could dramatically alter their future for the next four or five years, in positive or negative fashion. Everything revolves around how the Bucks choose to approach their pending free agents this summer. G Monta Ellis has repeated stated that he will opt out of his contract on June 30 to pursue free agency. Despite indications to the contrary, Ellis believes he can and will make more than the $11 million that he just earned in the final year of his deal with the Bucks. It is not clear if the Bucks intend to bring back Ellis, especially when they also have to consider re-signing G Brandon Jennings, who wants to cash in with a near-max contract. Given that Jennings and Ellis are two shoot-first, high-volume, low-percentage, small-framed guards, this may not make much fiscal sense. For once, the Bucks may actually utilize that good sense and simply let Ellis walk. Additionally, Milwaukee will be building around the philosophy of new head coach Larry Drew, who typically does not lean heavily on his backcourt players.

The Bucks are rumored to be pursuing G JR Smith and F Chris Copeland of the New York Knicks. JJ Redick is also an unrestricted free agent who appears destined to sign elsewhere. Mike Dunleavy, Jr., C Joel Pryzbilla, F Marquis Daniels, and C Samuel Dalembert are all unrestricted free agents as well. Considering the Bucks just re-upped with F Ersan Ilyasova last offseason, it will be interesting the direction that they take regarding the rest of their front line. Drew Gooden is about all the Bucks have under contract other than Ekpe Udoh.

If Jennings decides to walk, the Bucks know that they will have at least $30 million in cap space to re-sign Jennings and other free agents. With the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Bucks will be the first team outside of the lottery to select, but will have to hope that a decent big man or point guard is available at that slot. The Bucks are rumored to be targeting 6’6” Russian shooting guard Sergey Karasev. If they are unable to get Karasev – considering that they are most likely going to lose Ellis and Redick, then the Bucks will have to seek out a player such as Kyle Korver or hope that they can truly lure JR Smith from his beloved hometown territory in the New York metropolitan area.

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