4 Former Bucks Milwaukee Needs To Bring Back This Offseason

The Milwaukee Bucks need to consider bringing back a few of their former players this summer.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Bucks are desperate to take a significant step forward next season after being one of the most underwhelming teams in the NBA in the 2023-24 campaign. The coaching drama, ill-timed injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the disappointing performance of Damian Lillard resulted in Milwaukee flaming out in the first round of the playoffs.

Naturally, the Bucks will spend the offseason trying to improve the roster. With Giannis approaching 30 and Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Lillard all on the wrong side of 30, Milwaukee's championship window is now and they need to take advantage.

Therefore, they will be active in free agency and the trade market. Perhaps they can look to bring back a few former Bucks who fit well to help them get there. Let's take a look at the landscape.

1. Gary Payton II

The 31-year-old defensive specialist has a player option for $9.1 million for next season but he will likely opt out to get a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money. In the last couple of seasons, Payton has struggled to stay healthy, appearing in a total of 66 games in the last two years. However, when he is available, he is still one of the best perimeter defenders in the game.

Payton started his NBA career in Milwaukee back in the 2016-17 season. As an undrafted free agent, he didn't get much of a chance to play. He didn't start thriving until he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2020. With the Warriors, he was able to showcase his defensive intensity and athleticism.

If the Bucks can get him on a team-friendly deal, Payton would be a great fit for this team. He would play the Patrick Beverley role and would be an upgrade over him, taking on the tough defensive assignments and allowing Lillard to focus his energy on the offensive end.