The Bucks have a lot of decisions to make this off-season, with many key players up-coming free agents and with a lot of money to spend. What they decide to do this off-season will shape the team for many years to come, so John Hammond must be smart and put this team in the right direction, or their future will be very bleak.
1. Match Any Offer Brandon Jennings Receives
– There have been rumblings that Jennings does not want to remain in Milwaukee, but the Bucks can match any offer he receives and for now it seems that they will. They would be stupid not to, as he is already a borderline All-Star and by far, their best player. They must keep him and continue to build around him, because there is no doubt that Jennings can be a cornerstone of a winning franchise.
2. Let Monta Ellis Walk
– Ellis and Jennings do not work well together, they are too similar and the Bucks would be smart to choose Jennings as the player to build around. Ellis will walk and decline his 11 million dollar option in the off-season and they would be wise to simply collect that cap space and use it to make this team better.
3. Re-sign JJ Redick
– They just traded for him, so they might as well keep him, as he is the perfect complement to Jennings in the backcourt. Redick is an excellent shooter and playmaker and all of the attention paid to Jennings, will give Redick open shot opportunities all game long. They are a fantastic backcourt duo to build around.
4. Resign Mike Dunleavy
– Dunleavy has had an excellent season off the bench, as a shooter, scorer and leader and if the price is right, they would be wise to keep him around.
5. Pick Up Team Option On Gustavo Ayon
1.5 million for a center who can score in the post, shoot, rebound and is an excellent passer is a fantastic bargain and they should pick up the option and have him back up Larry Sanders at center.
6. Go After Josh Smith
– They wanted Smith at the trade deadline, so why not use the cap space gained by letting Ellis leave and go after him, without having to trade any assets. They have the money and although they should not give him a max contract, (no team should), they could make a substantial offer and he would be an excellent fit as a scorer, defender and playmaker. He would push the Bucks way up the East rankings and he actually sounded interested in playing there, which is a surprise.
What The Rotation Would Look Like
PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: JJ Redick
SF: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
PF: Josh Smith
C: Larry Sanders
G/F: Mike Dunleavy
F: Ersan Ilyasova
F: John Henson
C: Gustavo Ayon
PG: Ish Smith
That is an elite defensive team, with big-time offensive players in Jennings, Redick and Josh Smith and an excellent bench. This lineup could make the Milwaukee Bucks one the top 5-6 teams in the Eastern Conference and this would be a huge step up from the mediocrity of the last decade.