This season may be Milwaukee’s best chance at a title, as the team has many players set to hit the open market in free agency this summer. Sources tell Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com that ownership’s willingness to go deep into the luxury tax may be dependent on how far the Bucks advance.
Khris Middleton is likely to turn down his player option and hit the market. Malcolm Brogdon will be a restricted free agent. Brook Lopez will almost certainly want a raise on his one-year, $3.38MM deal. And Nikola Mirotic, who the team added at the trade deadline, will pursue a new contract as well.
The Bucks are not against becoming a taxpaying team. They have to do everything they can to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with a strong supporting cast and give him every reason to sign a super-max extension once he’s eligible next summer. However, if the team with the best record in the league can’t get past the fourth-seeded Celtics, the decision to go deep into the luxury tax becomes a tough one.
The first of their many offseason decisions will likely involve Middleton, and Bontemps writes that the shooting guard is likely to see max contract offers. The Mavs reportedly will be among the teams looking to poach him from Milwaukee.