The Bucks appear to be in a good position to re-sign several of their key free agents, Marc Stein writes at Substack. Stein gets the sense that Khris Middleton‘s return to Milwaukee is “all but assured,” and says Brook Lopez seems to be leaning toward remaining with the Bucks too, despite the fact that he’ll draw interest from rival suitors like the Rockets.
Interestingly, Stein hears that Milwaukee is considered increasingly likely to re-sign forward Jae Crowder as well. A trade deadline acquisition, Crowder had a forgettable postseason, scoring just seven points and missing all six of his 3-point attempts in 41 total minutes of action. However, he was effective in 18 regular season appearances for the Bucks, who gave up several second-round picks to land him.
Here’s more from Stein:
- After he wrote earlier this week about the Rockets‘ interest in Fred VanVleet, Stein has been told by a “flurry of informants” that Houston is believed to be looking to sign the point guard to a two-year, maximum-salary contract. Such a deal would be worth just shy of $84MM based on the NBA’s latest cap projections.
- The latest rumblings Stein has heard suggest that James Harden will likely return to the Sixers on a two- or three- year deal and that Jakob Poeltl is expected to re-sign with the Raptors for about $20MM per year, whether or not VanVleet remains in Toronto.
- Veteran forward Yuta Watanabe and former NBA guard Mike James have been mentioned as potential targets for the Suns as they look to fill out their roster around their stars, says Stein. James, who has spent the past two seasons with AS Monaco, last played in the NBA in Brooklyn in 2021 and is close with Durant.
- Clippers forward Marcus Morris remains on the trade block after a proposed three-team deal that would have sent him to Washington fell through last week, Stein says.