9 forwards Milwaukee Bucks should target in 2022 free agency

Jun 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. (32) reacts to a play during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in game six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Otto Porter Jr. (32) reacts to a play during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in game six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the NBA tip-off the legal tampering period of free agency on June 30th when they are able to come to handshake agreements with free agents.

Milwaukee is armed with a couple of tools to add free agents to their roster this season including players on veteran minimum contracts and the taxpayer mid-level exception at $6.4 million. Let’s take a position-by-position look at which free agents are available that could fall into both the price range and skillset the Bucks are looking for.

We’ll divide the players up into four positions–guards, wings, forwards, and bigs. Forwards is sort of a gray area between wings and bigs, but it’s an important distinction to make. The only player currently on the Bucks’ roster who falls into this category is Khris Middleton, but Georgios Kalaitzakis, Deandre Bembry and Rodney Hood were also forwards on the Bucks this past season.

With Milwaukee likely looking to add a player or two at this position, let’s check out nine free agents who Milwaukee should target.

With 2022 free agency right around the corner, here are nine forwards the Milwaukee Bucks should look at adding to their team.

Joe Ingles

This is a tricky situation considering Ingles is still working his way back from a torn ACL at age 34. The injury didn’t occur until early in 2022 so he probably won’t be ready to begin the 2022-23 season. However, he could be someone who signs a vet minimum. He’s an extremely intelligent player who understands his role is to knock down threes (he’s a career 40.8 percent three-point shooter) and work his tail off on defense. He’d also give the Bucks some much-needed size at 6-foot-8.

Derrick Jones Jr.

Derrick Jones Jr. would be an imperfect fit on the Bucks considering his lack of an outside shot, but he would be an intriguing addition for depth reasons. He’s uber-athletic and can fly around the court blocking shots and throwing down dunks. It might be stretching it to add him at the taxpayer mid-level exception, but something worth considering.

T.J. Warren

Warren struggled with foot injuries for a couple of seasons and is a big-time risk in that category despite reports that he’s fully recovered. He would provide Milwaukee with some good scoring off their bench, something they lacked last year. He’d also be nice insurance in the event of another major injury and can pick up some of the playmaking slack. A double-digit scorer coming on a discount? It could be intriguing.

Thaddeus Young

Young’s days as a “Giannis Stopper” are over, but he could still be a useful role player on the Bucks. He fits in the forward category, but is probably more of a big as well–which could be helpful depending on what happens with Bobby Portis. He won’t help space the floor, but is a good locker-room presence and someone willing to do the dirty work. He’s a good vet minimum candidate.

Taurean Prince

Prince could be a sleeper for the Bucks, flying under the radar and signing with a championship-contending team to help push them over the top. He’s not going to score much, but can knock down open threes (37.1 percent career three-point shooter). He can also defend multiple positions and do so at an above-average rate.

Bruce Brown

The Bucks would have to use their full taxpayer mid-level exception if they want to target Brown. That could get dicey as Brown isn’t a perfect fit for what they’re looking for, but does check some of the boxes. He’s athletic, versatile and surprisingly adequate behind the three-point line. However, he lacks the size Milwaukee is looking for.

Kyle Anderson

Anderson would also be another interesting fit, but for different reasons than Brown. He plays the game at his own pace, refusing to be sped up for any reason. That could be a nice change of pace for the Bucks and give them a changeup to throw the defense and offset the Giannis Antetokounmpo fastball. Anderson is also an adequate defender who could hold up in big-time playoff minutes.

P.J. Tucker

Tucker is going to be at the top of every playoff team’s list and will be able to get more than the $6.4 million the Bucks have to offer. However, that pedigree and relationship is there so it could be an option for both sides. We already know what he brings to the table, the question is when will Father Time strike?

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Otto Porter Jr.

This would be an amazing fit for the Bucks and they should target Porter with everything they have. Defensively, he can play multiple positions and alongside all of the current players on the roster. He’s long and would help unlock a switching lineup for Milwaukee. He doesn’t try to do too much offensively and can knock down some threes to space the court. He’s also coming off one of his healthiest season in years.