Milwaukee Bucks: 3 players entering their do-or-die Season

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 26: Malcolm Brogdon #13 and Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Bradley Center on April 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 26: Malcolm Brogdon #13 and Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Bradley Center on April 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – APRIL 17: Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Guerschon Yabusele #30 of the Boston Celtics in the first quarter of Game Two in Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 17: Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Guerschon Yabusele #30 of the Boston Celtics in the first quarter of Game Two in Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

1. Eric Bledsoe

Another Bucks guard entering the final year of his contract brings another big decision for the front office and Budneholzer to make after this season. Bledsoe had a very interesting move this past season when he was traded from a dumpster fire in Phoenix to a playoff team in Milwaukee in exchange for a protected first-round pick and Greg Monroe.

Bledsoe came in and impressed immediately because of the state of the point guard group at that time. When the season rounded out he finished with 17.8 points, 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. Many fans are a bit confused about how his season really finished up after the whole Terry Rozier ordeal in the first round of the playoffs.

From an eye test, it appears that Bledsoe fits in well chemistry wise with the Bucks roster on and off the court and, other than a poor stretch between January and February, he was impressive.

Especially with the failed Jabari Parker experiment, the Bucks are looking for a consistent third scoring option behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. It would be ideal to find that guy at point guard because it causes opponents to have to guard the Bucks on all three tiers: The drive (Bledsoe), shooting (Middleton), and in the paint (Giannis). This can cause a lot of headaches for opponents defensively having to allot their resources to stop all parts.

Bledsoe is elite off the dribble shooting 53 percent when he takes more than two dribbles and a good enough three-point shooter at 34.7 percent to make defenders respect him on the closeout.

It’s hard to determine what he could go for on the open market, but it’s important to remember Milwaukee isn’t quite a free-agent destination at this point. Keeping Bledsoe in-house after this season would be a big get.

Another thing to think about is how Budneholzer will utilize Bledsoe’s skills and how to make him more efficient. There were more than a few times that he tried to do too much in isolation or forced poor three-point attempts. If Budenholzer can limit those possessions to a minimum and turn them into positive sets for the team, we could not only see a boost in his points and assists per game.

Bledsoe has an important season ahead of him which he could land him a big contract. The Bucks are definitely pushing for him to have a great season and would be willing to pay him if he does.