2015 Milwaukee Bucks

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Milwaukee Bucks (Last Year: 41-41)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Zaza Pachulia/John Henson/Miles Plumlee

PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo/Johnny O’Bryant

SF: Jabari Parker/^Jared Dudley/Caron Butler/Shawne Williams

SG: *Khris Middleton/O.J. Mayo

PG: Michael Carter-Williams/Jerryd Bayless/Tyler Ennis/Jorge Gutierrez

NBA Free Agents:

PF-Greg Monroe (UFA)

SF-Tayshaun Prince (UFA)

PG-John Lucas III (UFA)

C-Joel Anthony (UFA)

*PG-Reggie Jackson (RFA)

^PF-Anthony Tolliver (TO)

Offseason Moves:

Bucks acquire SF Caron Butler and F Shawne Williams from Pistons for PF Ersan Ilyasova

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $47 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Middleton Dilemma: An important part of the Bucks’ drastic turnaround this past season was the play of Khris Middleton, who ended up being one of the team’s top scorers. A restricted free agent, Middleton is due a pretty significant pay raise and Milwaukee can match any offer sheet he would sign with another. The Bucks presumably dealt Ersan Ilyasova to free up even more cap space to re-sign Middleton, so this should be priority No. 1 for them this offseason as long as they don’t have to overpay to keep him around.

2. Power Forward: Frontcourt depth was a need even before the Bucks dealt Ilyasova, and it now becomes even more pressing to add some bodies upfront. There should be some quality options available when Milwaukee selects 17th in the 2015 NBA Draft (Bobby Portis, Kevon Looney, Montrezl Harrell?) who could help, but the team should still look to add a veteran in free agency.

3. Be Smart with Cap Space: Assuming the Bucks releases Caron Butler, they should have more than $20 million available in cap space, and that number could increase if Jared Dudley decides to opt out of the final year of his contract. With O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachulia and Jerryd Bayless all free agents next summer, Milwaukee sits in a great position with its cap space. The worst thing the Bucks could to do is make a drastic move this summer to hurt their long-term flexibility. The franchise’s rebuilding efforts have shown a ton of promise, and management needs to keep things pointed in that direction.

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