Terrible Max Deals for the Milwaukee Bucks new cap space


With tax season upon us, the Milwaukee Bucks also find themselves with additional revenue to spend. This revenue check, however, appeared with the departures of Brandon Knight and Larry Sanders. And when the dust settled, the Bucks are projected to be $16 million under the cap for the 2015-16 season (via HoopsHype.com).

Now, we all know the smart move would be to invest our government-provided revenue check and protect our future, but who wants to do that? The same goes for Milwaukee. One would advise the team to use this $16 million to solidify this young core remains with the team past their rookie contracts.

Instead, let’s burn it on a max-level contract!

I should first note that if the Bucks were interested in a max deal, it would be limited to players within their first six years in the league. Veteran status greater than seven years demands a contract north of $18 million, which is already out of range. With this, Milwaukee is already limited to 10 players.

The Untouchables – Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard
Don’t even waste your time dreaming about these options, folks. Both Butler and Leonard will get max offers from their respective contender teams. But imagine for a second adding Butler to this already young roster … No, Kurt. You said no dreaming.

Not Looking Good – Wesley Matthews, Draymond Green
Matthews: How great would this be? Matthews comes back to Milwaukee to play pro ball in the same building he spent his college years. Milwaukee would also be providing a significant upgrade at shooting guard, moving from O.J. Mayo‘s 11 points per game average, to Matthews’ 16. The issue is that Portland loves this guy (as they should!) and the chances are extremely slim that they let him walk.

Green: I’m honestly surprised there isn’t more buzz around the league regarding Green. His stat line exploded compared to his first two years in the league, as the forward now averages 11 points and eight rebounds per game. Remember that this is on a team that doesn’t need additional scorers with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson contributing on average a combined 45 points a night.

Green brings to the table a big-bodied small forward, but tends to succeed more as a stretch 4. He’s the kind of player that would not only fit well with Milwaukee, but I have difficulty not imagining him in nearly any system.

While rumors have arisen about a wanting to sign with Detroit, Golden State plans on matching any offer Green receives (via Tim Kawakami at Mercurynews.com).

Don’t Do It – Brandon Knight, Reggie Jackson, Omer Asik
Knight: Too soon? I apologize. It goes without saying the ignorance that surrounds re-signing a player you just traded away for two younger point guards, so we’ll just leave this hypothetical be.

Jackson: Another point guard Milwaukee doesn’t need. Loving the starting minutes he’s receiving due to a season-ending injury to Brandon Jennings. Let’s move on.

Asik: NBA executives drool over 7-foot, 255 pound centers, so it’s safe to say Asik will see his payday. The question is where. Statistically, Asik’s best performance came in the 2012 season with Houston (pre-Dwight Howard) where he averaged 10 points and 11 rebounds a game.

This nice thing about Asik is that his numbers are consistent and you know what you can get out of him game-to-game. On the other hand, Asik isn’t the type of player that will explode for 20-plus points. A max-level contract then becomes a large price to pay for that kind of stat line.

This Might Work – Enes Kanter, Tobias Harris, Greg Monroe
Kanter: My colleague, Phil Watson, detailed Milwaukee’s interest in acquiring Kanter at the trade deadline. While still relatively unproven, Kanter would bring another big body the Bucks so desperately need. Especially considering the fact that Sanders is gone and Kenyon Martin is on his way out after the season. At this point, Kanter seems to be another bench piece for Oklahoma City to make a run at a title. But with the Thunder cap space in question, especially as they attempt to lock down Kevin Durant, it becomes virtually impossible for OKC to offer Kanter a max contract.

Harris: In all reality, Harris probably belongs in the “Don’t Do It” category, but I just can’t help myself. Ignore the 17 points per game average, what better way for Bucks GM John Hammond to make up for the infamous Harris for J.J. RedickGustavo AyonIsh Smith trade than by bringing Harris back on a max contract? I think I’m going to be sick.

Monroe: The Detroit big man couldn’t work out a long-term deal with Detroit last season and ended up settling for a one-year $5.5 million qualifying offer (via Kevin Zimmerman at SBNation.com). Monroe is now poised to earn big money as he enters unrestricted free agency this summer; averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Imagine this Bucks 2015 lineup: Michael Carter-Williams (MCW), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe, Zaza Pachulia. Wow. When’s the last time Milwaukee saw that collection of size and speed on the court at one time?

At the end of the day, we all know the Bucks aren’t going to blow this cap space on one player, correct? This was all hypothetical — to imagine what could be. In reality, the best move is to hold onto this space to keep the young core of MCW, Antetokounmpo, and Parker around to build around. But then again, we’ve seen crazier things in the NBA.

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