The Milwaukee Bucks have had a solid, yet uneventful summer, as far as real basketball transactions are concerned (we will deal with the front office turmoil at another juncture). The team has no major additions or subtractions from last year’s 42-40 squad, and with no real cap space to use, the team does not have the financial flexibility to add another major piece to the roster.
This leaves the Bucks with two exceptions, The Non-Tax Payer Mid-Level & The Bi-Annual Exception, to fill out the remaining pieces of their roster before the 2017-2018 season. The Mid-Level Exception will be worth 8.4 Million for the first year & the Bi-Annual has a total value of approximately 3.3 Million. If the Bucks decide to use the exceptions and enter into the tax for 2017-2018 they have multiple intriguing options.
As part of a two column piece today we will look at potential Bi-Annual Exception candidates with a focus on Mid-Level players to follow.
Bi-Annual Exception Candidates:
Ian Clark- It’s unclear what the true market on Ian Clark is at this point in time. What we have seen so far in free agency is that it appears the Golden State Warriors are in no panic to bring him back. The addition of Swaggy P, along with the continued growth of Patrick McCaw have made Ian Clark an expendable player for a team that is loaded with depth. Patrick McCaw is a dynamic shooter and scorer that would make perfect sense as another rotation piece to backcourt that is desperate for scoring.
Donatas Motiejunas – The upside of Motiejunas is a 7-foot stretch 4/5 that can be a deadly shooter from 3 and provide floor spacing for Giannis to operate. The bad news is he shot only 23.4 percent from three last season. Motiejuanas was banged up, in a bad situation, and could really never get in a rhythm during all of 2016-2017. At this point it’s worth the flier that he is able to return to 2014-2015 form when he shot 36.8 percent from deep and looked like a quality rotation piece.
Ty Lawson- No he is not the elite point guard he was 5 years ago. No he is not even a quality starting point guard anymore, but Ty Lawson still has burst and still has the ability to provide real value to a team in today’s NBA. The Bucks lack players with the ability to handle the ball and push the pace, especially in bench units. Ty Lawson is a quality piece that can provide transition offense when Giannis sits and be a secondary ball handler when sharing the floor.
All of the above players have warts to their game. When signing players for under 3.3 million you are unlikely to find a player that is a huge difference maker. That does not mean players like this are unimportant. Often times it is the bench units of teams, the rotation players 8-10 that separate and compile large leads.
In a season that is 82 games long it is critical that all players 1-15 are real, quality NBA players, and with little flexibility left, the Bucks need to make sure to make the most out of all their chances.
Please check in next week for our list of Mid-Level Exception Candidates.
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