3 Milwaukee Bucks on Thin Ice Following 2024 NBA Draft

These three Milwaukee Bucks better be checking their backs following the results of the 2024 NBA Draft.
Milwaukee Bucks Introduce Doc Rivers
Milwaukee Bucks Introduce Doc Rivers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Milwaukee Bucks are on thin ice heading into the 2024-25 NBA season as a team. But that may be more true following a surprising and controversial 2024 NBA Draft. Especially for three certain guys.

Milwaukee had two picks—the 23rd and 33rd overall selections—at their disposal. They could either keep them or try to trade one or both of them along with a player to get back an upgrade. Many fans and analysts expected them to do the latter.

However, the Bucks stood pat at each draft position, selecting AJ Johnson at 23 and Tyler Smith at 33. Both players are interesting selections, as they are 19 years old and have a ways to go before they're ready to contribute to a championship-contending team.

It's clear the Bucks swung for the fences. Although we won't know whether they're good picks for a couple of years, three guys are immediately on thin ice following the draft.

3. Bobby Portis

Tyler Smith could be a long-term replacement for Portis. Smith is a smooth lefty with a solid outside stroke and can either play the four or the five.

Although that will take years to materialize, Portis's contract situation combined with Smith's selection should give him cause for concern. The 29-year-old veteran is set to make $12.6 million next season with a player option worth $13.4 million in 2025-26. He's also extension-eligible.

If Milwaukee doesn't sign Portis to an extension, it likely signals they'll try to move on from him this summer. Otherwise, they wouldn't risk him declining his player option next year and walking in free agency without allowing the Bucks to recuperate assets. With his Bucks' future up in the air, Portis may be spending his last days as a Buck.