Bucks offseason preview: Three challenges facing Milwaukee going forward
The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions for the first time in 50 years. This team is likely to remain a contender for the future, especially with Giannis Antetokounmpo locked in for five more seasons ...
The botched Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade would have been talking about the franchise if they hadn't won. At the same time, it might have been better that things worked out that way because the hard cap issues wouldn't have allowed them to sign Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis. They also couldn't have taken advantage of the mid-level exemption, which means they would have struggled to cover PJ Tucker's salaries in one trade while staying below the hard cap.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer made an impressive 180, from the possibility of not being on the team to likely locking yourself in for the foreseeable future. Milwaukee will still face challenges improving this list of age-related regressions, with little to no flexibility.
Lack of flexibility
When Giannis Antetokounmpo signed his Supermax, choosing the Bucks was a no-brainer: expand it and take care of the rest of the roster later. But if one player makes more than $ 40 million, that will affect the rest of the roster. To make matters worse, Khris Middleton owes an average of $ 38 million over the next three seasons, while Jrue Holiday earns an average of $ 34 million on his base salary. It goes without saying that Milwaukee will be a luxury taxpayer for the foreseeable future, largely thanks to these actors. They are already expected to go beyond the luxury tax next season with just 10 players in the squad. If they still have their expensive trio in two years' time, they'll jump into the repeat tax and let their tax bill grow exponentially from 2023-24. While this is in the future, it could provide a rough window of competition for this core to compete. By then, if things fall apart, owners might decide to break open the core to avoid the repeat tax. After these three players, her next highest salary is Brook Lopez, who is slated to make $ 13.2 million and $ 13.9 million over the next two seasons. Her next highest salary is Pat Connaughton, averaging $ 5.5 million over the next two seasons. This makes Lopez their most negotiable salary, but as long as he continues that level of production there is no reason for Milwaukee to trade him. Milwaukee's lack of median salaries in the $ 10 million to $ 20 million range could bode well for Donte Divincenzo this off-season. He's eligible for renewal, and there's a good chance the Bucks will give him a salary in that area, not just because of his production but also because they need higher salaries for potential deals across the board. While this would further add to Milwaukee's luxury tax bill, this is one path they can take to add future trading flexibility.
Restrictions on signing up for Top Free Agents
Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks
As mentioned earlier, Bogdanovic's failure to take over likely enabled the Bucks to sign Forbes and Portis. Forbes received part of the medium exception, while Portis received the semi-annual exception, both salaries that, along with Bogdanovic, would not have fit into the hard upper limit. Budenholzer did what he does best and got the best out of these players, which was a very big development considering how much depth the Bucks lost from last season. Now you face the prospect of losing one or both of these players and finding gold again in the bargain bin. Forbes and Portis have $ 2.5 million and $ 3.8 million worth of player options, respectively, which they are likely to turn down. The best Milwaukee has to offer Forbes is their $ 2.8 million Non Bird amount it should make. Portis' Non Bird Amount is $ 4.3 million which he should make too. [listicle id = 1526737] The Bucks may have to offer one of these players the Taxpayer Medium Exemption (T-MLE) of $ 5.9 million in order to keep them. Portis could be prioritized but he could get offers north of the T-MLE after his performance in the final rounds of the playoffs. In the meantime, Forbes could be prioritized based on its three-point specialty, but any team with Cap Space could easily outbid the T-MLE. Maybe going back to a short-term deal is enough for him to prove that his 45 percent clip of three wasn't just an outlier, allowing him to get back to the open market soon for more money. Milwaukee has full bird rights to PJ Tucker so you won't have any problem re-signing him. Like DiVincenzo, Tucker could benefit from the Bucks' lack of tradable salaries. What also helps him is that the Bucks have no way of replacing his paycheck if he doesn't return. He reportedly turned down a two-year $ 17 million extension with Houston, which was only guaranteed to be $ 10 million. Tucker makes about the same amount of money annually as he's made lately, which is reasonable on a short-term deal.
Projection of your luxury tax bill for the next season
PJ Tucker, Milwaukee Bucks
Keeping Tucker and using the taxpayer exemption will be costly. For example. Tucker, who is earning $ 8 million in 2021-22 on top of the current list of Bucks, would add an additional $ 15 million to his luxury tax bill. With 11 players already, you'd be considering a nearly $ 24 million luxury tax bill, including the 31st overall pick for a minimum salary. Additionally, if the Bucks took advantage of the mid-tier exemption of $ 5.9 million, possibly one from Forbes or Portis, their luxury tax bill would be valued at just over $ 41 million. That's what Milwaukee's property signed up for when they expanded Antetokounmpo and Holiday. After winning the title, now is the time to pay the luxury tax. Ownership responsibility must be taken in the future if they choose to withhold spending.
2021-22 SALARY SITUATION
Guaranteed salaries: USD 130,725,705 Non-guaranteed salaries: USD 4,553,943 Dead money: USD 5,034,894 Total salary: 140,314,540 Luxury tax room: USD 4,075,764 above luxury tax Exemptions: Taxpayer middle class: USD 5,890.00 DJ Augustin trade exception: 4,886 .515 USD Torrey Craig Trade Exception: 1,620,564 USD
Salary 2021-22: $ 39,344,900 (based on 35 percent of the salary cap of $ 112.4 million) Remaining Guaranteed Salary: $ 228,200,420 through 2025-26 Additional Notes: Eligible for One Year Anniversary Trading the signing of the Supermax. Has a player option for 2025-26.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
2021-22 Salary: $ 35,500,000 Guaranteed Salary Remaining: $ 111,844,828 through 2023-24 Additional Notes: Has a player option for 2023-24.
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
Salary 2021-22: $ 31,051,333 Remaining Salary Guaranteed: $ 134,997,332 through 2024-25 Additional Notes: Has a total of around $ 24.7 million in incentives giving room up to 159.7 Earning millions of dollars in his contract. Is eligible to trade on the six month anniversary of the signing of its renewal.
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
2021-22 Salary: $ 12,697,675 Guaranteed Salary Remaining: $ 27,209,301 through 2022-23 Additional Notes: Eligible to sign an extension for three additional years and up to US 54,070,322 during this off-season - Can add dollars.
Pat Connaughton warming up before the game in Orlando
Salary 2021-22: $ 5,333,334 Remaining Guaranteed: $ 11,061,727 through 2022-23 Additional Notes: Has a player option for 2022-23.
2021-22 Salary: $ 4,675,830 Guaranteed Remaining Salary: $ 4,675,830 Additional Notes: Eligible to sign a rookie scale upgrade of up to 25 percent of salary cap during this off-season.
Salary 2021-22: $ 1,517,981 Remaining guaranteed: $ 1,517,981
2021-22 Salary: $ 1,517,981 Guaranteed Remaining Salary: $ 0 Additional Notes: His 2021-22 salary is not guaranteed but is guaranteed at $ 500,000 on December 15, 2021 and is fully guaranteed on the league-wide cut date .
2021-22 Salary: $ 1,517,981 Guaranteed Salary Remaining: $ 100,000 Additional Notes: His guaranteed salary for 2021-22 is $ 100,000 but is guaranteed to be $ 500,000 on December 15, 2021 and as of League-wide cut date fully guaranteed.
2021-22 Salary: $ 1,517,981 Guaranteed Remaining Salary: $ 500,000 Additional Notes: His 2021-22 guaranteed salary is $ 500,000 and is fully guaranteed on August 8, 2021.
PJ Tucker (unlimited free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 15,142,120 Free Agent Type: Bird Additional Notes: Limited to signing a three-year contract with any team during this off-season without the complications of the over-38 rule.
Bobby Portis (unlimited free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 4,347,600 Free Agent Type: Non Bird Additional Notes: Has a player option worth $ 3,804,150 that he will most likely decline. Milwaukee is limited to pledging him to the Veteran Minimum, his Non Bird amount (like the Cap Hold), or up to the taxpayer's MLE.
Bryn Forbes (unlimited free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 2,804,574 Free Agent Type: Non-Bird Additional Notes: Has a player option worth $ 2,454,002 which he will most likely decline. Milwaukee is limited to pledging him to the Veteran Minimum, his Non Bird amount (like the Cap Hold), or up to the taxpayer's MLE.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (restricted free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 2,126,991 Type of Free Agent: Early Bird
Jeff Teague (unlimited free agent)
Jeff Teague, Milwaukee Bucks
Cap Hold: $ 1,669,178 Type of Free Agent: Non Bird
Justin Jackson (restricted two-way free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 1,489,065 Type of Free Agent: Non Bird
Axel Toupane (restricted two-way free agent)
Cap Hold: $ 1,489,065 Type of Free Agent: Non Bird
2021 Pick No. 31
Additional Notes: HoopsHypes Draft Expert Bryan Kalbrosky has the Bucks pick David Johnson with the 31st overall pick in his latest mock draft. According to Kalbrosky, Brandon Boston Jr. is ranked the 31st Best Candidate based on an aggregation of mock designs released on June 26, 2021.
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