The Milwaukee Bucks have made it a clear priority to run it back next year, believing that a fully healthy squad can win the East and compete for another title.
Given how close they were to knocking off the Celtics in the second round with Khris Middleton sidelined, it’s hard to fault them for that belief, although Boston has addressed its biggest need by taking a swing on former-Buck Malcolm Brogdon. So far this summer, the Bucks have re-signed Wesley Matthews, Jevon Carter, and Bobby Portis, with their biggest outside addition being Joe Ingles on the taxpayer mid-level, with the hope that he’ll be back from his ACL injury for the second half of the season and provide them with another shooter and secondary creator come playoff time.
On Monday, the Bucks continued their push to retain last year’s roster by working out a deal for Serge Ibaka to return next season, who they traded Donte DiVincenzo for at the deadline seeking frontcourt help with Brook Lopez’s status up in the air. Shams Charania broke the news that Ibaka would be back in Milwaukee on a one-year deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 4, 2022
Ibaka averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game on 50.0/37.4/72.7 shooting splits in 54 games with the Clippers and Bucks last season, but didn’t really crack the postseason rotation in Milwaukee. He’s not the defender he once was, although offensively his ability to space the floor provides plenty of value. Ibaka’s chief value to the Bucks is adding depth to their center rotation for the regular season, with the hope that a full season in Milwaukee might allow him to be better equipped to help in the playoffs.