The Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the NBA throughout the 2022-23 regular season, but the reputation of being the best team in the league stopped there, as the Bucks faltered in their first-round playoff series against the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in five hotly-contested games. The front office decided to fire head coach Mike Budenholzer and replace him with former Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin.
Griffin will have a massive challenge on his hands in his first season with Milwaukee, as he will be coaching arguably the best player in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Coaching stars is always tough, and as long as Antetokounmpo is in town, the Bucks will have championship aspirations. Beyond that, the Bucks have some important decisions to make this offseason, as Brook Lopez is an unrestricted free agent, and Khris Middleton can opt out of his current deal and seek another multi-year extension.
The Bucks have an extremely important offseason ahead of them as they hope to find a way to go on a deep playoff run next season. With free agency just around the corner, though, let's look at two guys they must avoid at all costs on the open market.
The wing depth surrounding the Big Three of Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Jrue Holiday was a constant issue for the Bucks this season. Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews, and Joe Ingles were some of the guards and forwards surrounding their nucleus, but none of them were consistent enough to stand out. In the series against the Heat, they failed to deliver when they were needed.
For that reason, Milwaukee is going to explore trades and signings involving versatile wings who could thrive on their roster. Kelly Oubre Jr. could be an option who can start alongside Middleton and Holiday in the Bucks backcourt, but his style of play is unlikely to complement their team. Throughout Oubre's NBA career, his successful stints have come when playing on teams where he receives a ton of shots as one of the focal points of the offense.
Joining a stacked and formidable organization like Milwaukee will mean a smaller role for Oubre. During his time with the Golden State Warriors, Oubre had trouble adjusting to being one of the ancillary pieces, which could be an issue the explosive wing struggles with if signed by the Bucks.
Similar to Oubre, Dillon Brooks is another forward who could be considered as an upgrade at that position. One can argue that his defensive impact would be a huge help on a roster that focuses the majority of their emphasis on that end of the floor. Brooks can also bring toughness and grit that was lacking heavily in their dreadful first round loss against the Heat.
It sounds brilliant reading the terrific contributions Brooks can bring to a championship contending squad, but Milwaukee must weigh the negative repercussions of adding him to a squad with a solid foundation. There have been rumors that Brooks brought the negative energy and hatable culture upon the Memphis Grizzlies, which could have been the primary reason for his departure from the organization.
There are many instances in which Brooks talks a ton of smack on and off the court. Sometimes, his trash talk is on the sports headlines more than his production on the court. Furthermore, Brooks still has a ton of holes on his offensive repertoire, as he tends to chuck up bone-headed threes several times per game. The Bucks would be better off pursuing someone like Gary Trent Jr. or Seth Curry instead of these two options.