Giannis Antetokounmpo has been in the spotlight for quite a long time now, and after being named the Eastern Conference’s player of the week during the first week of the regular season, it’s pretty safe to say that his MVP campaign has already gotten off to a great start.
Antetokounmpo has been incredibly impressive and he’s drawn comparisons to all-time greats like Magic Johnson and Kevin Garnett, with Shaquille O’Neal stating that he thought of him as a 7 foot Russell Westbrook, something that says a lot about how highly praised the youngster is among his peers.
The Greek Freak has vastly improved on every single aspect of his game since making his professional debut, and he even seems to be noticing his sweet shooting spots so far this season, something that could make him the deadliest player in the world as soon as he finds a bit of a shooting stroke.
And so far, the outstanding youngster has become the most entertaining player to watch in world basketball, but even after acquiring star point guard Eric Bledsoe in a trade with the Phoenix Suns, it still seems like the Milwaukee Bucks are a piece or two away in order to go the distance and reach the NBA Finals.
The Bucks have $103,175,338 tied up in salaries next year without Jabari Parker, who will have a qualifying offer next summer, so if the Bucks do indeed want to pursue one of the free agents listed below, they’re going to have to clear some cap space to do so. An easy way to do this would be to trade Mirza Teletovic’s ($10.5 million) and Tony Snell’s ($9.8 million) contracts for players who have expiring contracts this season.
Today, we’re going to let you know about 5 players that could definitely help Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks win the East, taking a look at the free agent class of 2018.
5. Lou Williams
Shooting guard Lou Williams has been moved around a lot over the past year or so, playing for the Lakers, Rockets, and Clippers all in the span of less than a season. Williams is currently in the last year of his 3-year, $21 million deal that he signed with the Lakers back in 2015, and may be looking for a more stable destination after being traded twice last season, especially if the Clippers cannot keep up this level of performance for the entire season.
Lou is a former Sixth Man of the Year back in 2014-15 with the Raptors, and has been a contender for the award ever since, being among the league’s best scorers coming off the bench. His respectable 34.5% shooting percentage from deep across his career could benefit Milwaukee’s second unit, taking the court with the likes of Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker.
4. Tony Allen
Tony Allen really bet on the New Orleans Pelicans project when deciding to leave the Memphis Grizzlies and sign in NOLA to try and help Jrue Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis compete in the stacked Western Conference.
Nevertheless, we all know that Pelicans’ big three isn’t going really far, and when they implode later in the season, the pesky veteran is very likely to be headed towards the door. The Bucks could really use his suffocating defense and his hustle, and he’d be a huge boost off the bench with his grit and grind mentality.
3. Trevor Ariza
The Milwaukee Bucks have thrived with their length and athleticism on the defensive end of the floor, but they can always improve in that regard and a veteran stopper like Ariza would fit them like a glove after his Houston Rockets stint comes to an end.
Ariza has always been a prime 3 and D player and he would make a huge impact on a team that desperately needs shooting, as well as mentoring Tony Snell and Khris Middleton to improve in the defensive end of the floor for the long run.
2. J.J. Redick
The veteran shooting guard decided to get a lot of cash to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, but everybody knows that’s not going to last past this year considering how many young and exciting pieces Philadelphia has right now and Redick’s desire to win a championship.
Redick would fit the Bucks’ system perfectly either starting or leading the second unit, as he would be the consistent shooter the Bucks so desperately need, with Giannis opening up a lot of space for him with his constant drives to the lane.
1. Avery Bradley
Avery Bradley took a major step forward this prior campaign with Brad Stevens and his Boston Celtics, playing lockdown defense while also being one of the team’s primary ball handlers and playmakers before being sent to the Detroit Pistons to clear some cap space in order to land Gordon Hayward.
Bradley’s a top-tier two-way player and can play either backcourt position and even at the three, and that kind of versatility would definitely suit Jason Kidd and his boys. Bradley’s entering his prime and he could run the point for the Bucks or even lead the second unit, and his length seems just meant to be for a team this athletic.