3 best players the Bucks must sign in 2021 NBA free agency
The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off the high of winning their first NBA championship in 50 years. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company undoubtedly want to feel that high again next season. Heck, they did boldly claim they plan to go back-to-back.
Milwaukee will need to make some significant decisions this upcoming free agency to bring in pieces to further fortify their championship cast surrounding Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday. With that, here are three free agents the Milwaukee Bucks must sign to help them win another title in 2022.
Bucks Free Agency
1. P.J. Tucker
Milwaukee’s top offseason priority should be to bring back veteran forward P.J. Tucker. The Bucks acquired Tucker at the trade deadline last season and this paid a lot of dividends for them in the playoffs. The 36-year old was a key piece of their championship run as their enforcer on defense. Tucker brought a lot of energy, hustle, and tenacity that gave Milwaukee the different kind of edge to get over their previous playoff woes.
The Bucks could go over the cap to re-sign Tucker as they have the 3-and-D forward’s Bird Rights. Having just won an NBA championship, it would also be in Tucker’s best interests to return to Milwaukee. With a mutual interest, both sides should be able to work out a deal to have another shot at winning a championship.
2. Derrick Rose
Though the Bucks made it through without a consistent back up point guard (sorry Jeff Teague), Milwaukee will need to prioritize getting one this offseason. Derrick Rose could be that guy for them.
Rose may not start but it’s easy to envision him finishing games for the Bucks and serving as one of their playmakers. Milwaukee can also run Jrue Holiday at the 2-guard, thus not limiting the former no. 1 overall pick’s role as just a backup.
Having been a former league MVP, Rose has transitioned well into becoming a reliable off-the-bench scoring option for his previous squads. He played that role with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, and most recently, the New York Knicks. The Knicks will likely do everything they can to retain the 3-time All-Star’s services and there are rumblings that there is a mutual interest between him and the Chicago Bulls for a reunion. However, those two teams probably won’t give him the chance to win a title.
At 32-years old, winning a championship may be one of Rose’s top priorities at this point of his career. Milwaukee being a little over an hour’s drive away from his hometown of Chicago could also play a massive factor. With that, the Bucks definitely offer an enticing situation for Rose to consider. He would get the chance to win a championship, possibly have significant role, and play in a city close to home.
3. Nicolas Batum
Every contender around the NBA, including the Bucks, should include Nicolas Batum as one of their top free agency targets. With Milwaukee, Batum will fit right seamlessly as a switchable wing who could play multiple roles, depending on the lineup out there.
Batum thrived as a spot-up shooter with the Clippers and should see the same role if he goes to the Bucks. He would give Milwaukee another floor spacer to open up the paint for Giannis Antetokounmpo to dominate down low. He is also a high-IQ basketball player who tends to make the right decisions on offense. On the other end of the floor, he showed that he is still capable of guarding multiple positions with his length and versatility.
At 32-years old, having made nearly $165 million career earnings, Batum will likely be willing to sign for less money for the opportunity to win an NBA title. Where better could he get that chance than with the defending champs?