The Bucks are coming off of their first championship run in the last 50 years. There isn’t too much for them to change. That being said, adding a backup PG to the team could propel this team to even greater heights. Jeff Teague is most likely gone and although serviceable, wasn’t the best backup PG option for the Bucks. Below are three options for the backup PG position.
McConnell would be the ideal fit for the Bucks as he is a fantastic defender, a great playmaker, and he can score. In 26 minutes with the Pacers, McConnell put up 8.6 points – 6.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds. Most importantly, however, is he averaged 1.9 steals a game. The only problem with signing McConnell is that he could be looking at a serious payday after getting some DPOY buzz.
The Bucks have a $5.9 mil Mid-Level Exception (MLE) to use, but they may have to use that to bring Bobby Portis back. A sign and trade with the Pacers is a possibility (as they’ve done it before), and the Bucks have a $1.6 mil trade exception from the Torrey Craig trade and a $4.8 mil trade exception from the DJ Augustin trade. With $6.4 mil available in trade exceptions, it is possible for the Bucks to get a player like McConnell in a sign and trade.
“Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” At least that’s what one could hope for when attempting to get Cameron Payne. We all know Payne can score, shooting 44% from the 3PT range during the regular season. He’s a good playmaker, He only averaged 3.6 assists, but that was only in 18 minutes. His per 36 minutes would be over 7 assists per game, which is very good. He also showed a lot of promise on the defensive side of the ball in the playoffs.
Cameron Payne will be a tough player to sign as he’s coming off a great regular and post-season performance for his role. I would expect the Suns to want to keep him, but he could be another sign and trade candidate the Bucks could go after if he doesn’t want to stay.
Probably the cheapest option here, but still a difficult pickup as he is an RFA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. If the Timberwolves don’t match any contract he receives, the Bucks should be able to afford him with what little cap space they have left after re-signing Bobby Portis. They could also always go the sign and trade route as the Pacers did with Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon was an RFA; the Bucks matched the Pacers’ offer and then, as we all know, traded Brogdon to the Pacers.
McLaughlin isn’t a star, but he has a lot of potential to bloom into a great role player. He is an average 3PT shooter but has shown that he can be above average as he shot 38% his rookie year. He’s a good playmaker averaging 4 assists per game over the past two seasons in roughly 19 minutes. That translates to 7.5 assists in 36 minutes.
He’s not as good a defender as McConnell or Cam Payne, but he’s young and has plenty of room to blossom into a great defender. It should also be noted that McLaughlin plays for a below-average team and has a neutral defensive box plus/minus and a positive defensive win share in both of his seasons. On a good defending team (like the Bucks), he may be able to blossom.
Of course, there are other options for the backup PG spot. Austin Rivers was a very popular option before the deadline. If you’re interested in some other potential options click here!
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