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NLL Insider - Team by Team: Milwaukee Bucks

by pennywise , updated on Friday, October 13 2017, 12:38 am EST

2016-2017 Season Record: 64-18 (Tied for best record in the NLL)


Season Highlight:

Escaping the 1st round of the playoffs.  This was the first time the Bucks have made it to the 2nd round since the 2012 Playoffs.   No one wanted to face Milwaukee in the playoffs, as the inside-inside combo of Westbrook driving and KAT posting was a horror matchup. The Evil Empire continues to gain momentum and we can only wonder if 2017/18 could be the year they break through and make the NLL Finals for the 1st time in team history.

Season Lowlight:

It’s a dual shot here, losing KCP to injury just before the playoffs and then falling in the 2nd round to the Knicks.  Sure, the Knicks were a great team and went to the NLL Finals, but on paper, the Bucks were the favorite.  I’m sure BadWolf was up many sleepless nights after that series wondering just what if KCP had been healthy.

Best Trade:

Milwaukee trades Kentavious Caldwell Pope to Dallas.  Dallas sends 2017 1st(Den, 20th overall) and 2018 1st (Bkn).

Initially, I thought this was a great deal for Dallas, getting the #8 overall pick from 2013 for a 20 something pick this year and a 20 something pick next.  However, after all the offseason NBA dust settled, it looks like Milwaukee actually got the better end of this deal.  KCP will have his QO used to retain him this year, but he will be on a 1 year $18 million deal and will likely become a FA with an F loyalty next offseason.  Foresight like this is why GM Badwolf always fields a competitive team.

Worst Trade:

Milwaukee trades Tobias Harris to Brooklyn.  Brooklyn trades 1st round pick(BKN) to Milwaukee.

Tobias Harris ended up averaging over 18 points a game and was a pretty solid defender this past year.  Sure he is a little costly at 16 mil a year, but Aaron Gordon, who was supposed to help the Bucks forget about Harris, ended up being unforgettable himself and was eventually also traded away.  Harris’ athleticism could have made a Westbrook, Giannis, KCP, KAT starting lineup look mighty hard to defend and hard to score against.

Other Notable Trades:

The Detroit Pistons send Louis Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks send Deyonta Davis to the Detroit Pistons. The Milwaukee Bucks send a 1st-Rounder (Ind) to the Atlanta Hawks.

Lou Will ended up being a valuable asset for the Bucks with KCP and Lavine going down with injuries.

The LA Lakers send Iman Shumpert to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks send DeMarre Carroll to the LA Lakers.

Iman was another player intended to fill the KCP/Lavine holes, but was not effective.  In terms of the straight swap, Carroll was largely ineffective in the Bucks lineup, so adding a more athletic wing player made sense for Milwaukee.

The Dallas Mavericks send Thaddeus Young to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks send Timofey Mozgov, Alessandro Gentile and Cameron Payne to the Dallas Mavericks. The Milwaukee Bucks send a 1st-Rounder (Mil) and 2nd-Rounder (Was) to the Dallas Mavericks.

Bucks rid themselves of the albatross Mozgov contract and bring in a solid bench player in Young.

The Charlotte Hornets send Langston Galloway to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks send Jose Calderon to the Charlotte Hornets. The Charlotte Hornets send a 2nd-Rounder (Bos) and 2nd-Rounder (SA) to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks send a 1st-Rounder (SA) to the Charlotte Hornets.

Galloway was a sneaky good pickup, and Calderon really has played horribly of late.  This was another move by Wolf to try to fill the gap left by KCP and Lavine.  Sure, the 1st was a very late 20s, but Galloway ended up not wanting to stay in Milwaukee and opted for a roll of the dice in free agency.

The Dallas Mavericks send Shabazz Muhammad to the Orlando Magic. The Milwaukee Bucks send Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to the Dallas Mavericks. The Orlando Magic send DeMarre Carroll to the Milwaukee Bucks.

This trade ended up being considered the Best trade of the season for Dallas and it was close to being the worst for Milwaukee, but for how effective Harris was compared to RHJ. Now, RHJ has tremendous upside and is a 3 and D wing with great athleticism, which is what BadWolf looks for in his specs, but in hindsight, he may wish he could have RHJ back.

Best FA Signing:

Personally, neither of the 2 free agents the Bucks signed were worth much for them last year.

Worst FA Signing:

Timofey Mozgov – See Surprise. 


There were actually 2 for the Bucks, Russell Westbrook and KAT.  Maybe the slight edge could go to KAT, since he had 11 boards per, but we are splitting hairs here.  This double edged sword ran roughshot over most competition all year.  Surprisingly, Westbrook has been openly shopped since last season, but we get the sense that once he signs the extension, those trade talks will cease.


Timofey Mozgov – There are 2 surprises with Mozgov.  1 – That he even ended up on a Bucks roster, which is usually focused on youth, potential, and affordable cap value.  2 – How horrendous he played.  Total cost/stat - $228,000 per point, $283,000 per rebound and $2,183,000 per block.


Demarre Carroll.  This guy was a pittance of what he was expected to be.  Coming off 13 per last year to only average 5 per game for the Bucks is disappointing to say the least.  Then, they trade him and he goes back to almost 10 a game.  Talk about not liking the team he was playing for, but makes you wonder what his motivation is, with the Bucks ending up being an elite NLL team.

Draft Report Card:

Jarrett Allen (20)

Merencio (C+) Nenjabin (B+)

Allen is a surprisingly good C that should immediately slide into the backup C role, replacing the recently traded Nurkic.  Can Allen handle the minutes early on, or will the NLL be too fast for the young rook?

Looking to the Future:

As always, Milwaukee is a rotating door for new, young potential and this year is no different.  The Bucks are anchored by 3 stars in Russ, KAT, and Giannis.  They have promising young talent, like LaVine, Labissiere, Poeltl, Allen and Mitchell.  They have replaced their questionable pieces with ones that should better fit this team’s strategy.  Expect the Bucks to compete for the top spot in the NLL for at least the next few years.

Upcoming Free Agents:


  Comments (4) 
10/13 10:17 am
and there was no foresight on KCP, I just couldn't pay him (and AG00 and Jusuf) longterm). Noone expected what will happen to him, SVG said he will match any offer
10/13 10:15 am
A lot of my moves were for financial reasons, i needed to add 30M of salary before the season started, so I addressed that. After that it was adjusting to the loss of Lavine. Was KCP really out in 2nd round? DMC was solid for me.
10/13 06:04 am
Yeah, badwolf... what happened on Mozgov? I seem to remember some really odd stuff around that one on FA day.
10/13 01:10 am
Mozgov was an accident from memory


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