The Bucks are calling other teams to inquire about adding a wing in order to compensate for the loss of Khris Middleton, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Middleton is expected to miss six months of action after tearing his hamstring.
If Middleton is ruled out for the year, the Bucks could apply for the disabled player exception, which would give them $5.6MM to use in free agency, Bobby Marks of the Vertical adds on Twitter. The team would need a roster spot open if awarded the exception and Marks notes (Twitter link) that the team has 15 guaranteed contracts on the books.
The injury to Middleton is a devastating blow to a team that is looking to drastically improve upon its 33-win campaign. The core of Middleton, Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo was supposed to take the next step and elevate the team to contender status. Barring a substantial acquisition, Parker and Antetokounmpo, who recently signed a $100MM extension with the team, will likely be tasked with shouldering a bigger load on both ends of the floor.
Milwaukee signed Matthew Dellavedova and Jason Terry this offseason to bolster its bench unit, but it could be forced to insert one of the two into the starting lineup. Rashad Vaughn is also an internal candidate to see an increased role, but the sophomore didn’t have a particularly productive rookie campaign, so it may be a stretch to pencil him in for major minutes if the team intends on competing for a playoff birth.
Earlier today, we learned that Jabari Brown will join the Bucks for training camp. The team also signed J.J. O’Brien and Orlando Johnson earlier this month and while they all face uphill battles to make the team, opportunity awaits should a member of this trio excel during camp.
What should the Bucks do now that they will be forced to play much of the season without Khris Middleton? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say!