The Milwaukee Bucks entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and winning the 2019 NBA championship title. As of now, the Bucks continue to show an impressive performance on both ends of the floor, which resulted in a 6-0 start.
In just a few games sitting as the Bucks head coach, Mike Budenholzer already figured out the right combinations of players they need to win games. A starting lineup featuring Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez proved to be a huge headache to any teams the Bucks face on the court. However, when the 2018-19 NBA season is over, the Bucks might have to make a tough decision regarding their starters.
Four members of the Bucks’ starting lineup are set to hit the free agency market next summer. Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez are expected to become unrestricted free agents, while Malcolm Brogdon is going to be a restricted free agent. Of all those players, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report believes the Bucks will prioritize Brogdon the least.
“Milwaukee will still be in a good position with its combo guard, as it’ll be able to match any offer sheet Brogdon signs with another team. The downside: Someone might blow away the cap-strapped Bucks with an offer far too large to match. With every starter other than Giannis Antetokounmpo slated for free agency in 2019 (Khris Middleton will surely decline the final year and $13 million of his deal to hit the unrestricted market), the Bucks probably won’t prioritize Brogdon (who will be 26) too highly. He’s a quality starter, but Middleton, Bledsoe and even Brook Lopez figure to get more attention.”
— UVA (@UVA) October 29, 2018
As a restricted free agent, the Bucks will only need to match offers from other NBA teams just to bring Malcolm Brogdon back in Milwaukee. However, if an NBA team gives Brogdon a huge contract, the Bucks could be forced to let him go and focused on re-signing Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez. Bleacher Report added that one of the NBA teams who could express a strong interest in signing Brogdon is the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have enough salary cap space to give Brogdon a lucrative idea. Hughes predicted that the Pacers will offer Brogdon a four-year, $64 million contract in the 2019 NBA free agency period. The potential departure of Brogdon won’t deeply hurt the Bucks since they have Donte DiVincenzo, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, to replace him in the starting lineup.