Bucks Notes: Title Window, Payne, G League Moves

Having re-signed Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez this summer, the Bucks appear to have extended their championship window through at least the 2024/25 season, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes in a mailbag. Nehm views Milwaukee as one of “only a handful of teams” that have the pieces necessary to win a title in the short term.

However, the future of the Bucks’ roster beyond the 2025 offseason is very much up in the air. Lopez’s contract will expire that summer, while Middleton, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, and – most importantly – Giannis Antetokounmpo will all be able to opt out of their deals to reach the open market as well. Jrue Holiday has a player option for 2024/25, so he could hit free agency even earlier.

While they’re well over the luxury tax line this season, the Bucks don’t yet have any guaranteed money on their books for 2025/26. So depending on how the next two years play out, it’s possible they’ll be in position to revamp their roster at that point — or potentially sooner. In that scenario, the big question is whether the team would be revamping its roster around Antetokounmpo or whether it would be the start of the post-Giannis era in Milwaukee.

Here’s more on the Bucks:

  • Van Fayaz of BrewHoop.com views free agent point guard Cameron Payne as a good fit for the Bucks’ roster, but acknowledges that it’s not a perfect match, since the club wouldn’t be able to offer Payne more than the veteran’s minimum and already has 15 players on guaranteed contracts on its books.
  • The Wisconsin Herd – Milwaukee’s G League affiliate – has promoted Arte Culver to general manager, according to the team (Twitter link). Culver joined the Herd as the director of basketball operations in 2019 and was elevated to assistant GM in 2021.
  • As we noted earlier today, the Wisconsin Herd also announced (via Twitter) that they’ve traded Jontay Porter‘s returning rights to the Motor City Cruise. In exchange, the Bucks’ affiliate received the returning rights to guard Kyler Edwards and center Jaime Echenique. The Herd immediately flipped Edwards to the Long Island Nets in exchange for the returning rights to guard Bryce Brown and Long Island’s 2023 first-round pick.
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