Milwaukee Bucks shift focus to NBA offseason
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The NBA offseason is officially underway for all NBA teams.
The Milwaukee Bucks of course have been preparing for the offseason since losing to the Boston Celtics in their seven-game series last month.
In preparing for the offseason, Bucks General Manager Jon Horst spoke with reporters for the first time since the season ended.
Horst updated reporters on the status of Khris Middleton, who missed the Bucks final 10 playoff games with an MCL sprain.
"He's actually been in town most of the time. He looks great. He's starting to ramp up his court work and lifting," said Horst. "He's fine, there's no lasting effects of injury and he's in a really good spot."
The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 23rd at 6:30pm CT. The Bucks have the 24th pick. Since taking over as GM, Horst has been active in the trade market on draft night, often making deals with picks for other players like using five picks in a package for Jrue Holiday before the 2020 season.
When free agency begins at the end of June, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton and Thanasis Antetokounmpo will all have player options to exercise. Horst said they will address those players after they make their decisions.
"Today we're heavily focused on the draft for Thursday. Making those kinds of plans and preparations relative to trades and different things we can do. And then when we get through that and we approach the beginning of free agency, we'll be ready to adjust on those decisions when they happen," said Horst.
Wesley Matthews, Jevon Carter and Serge Ibaka will be unrestricted free agents.
Horst was asked specifically about keeping Wes and Jevon and said the team would like them back.
"Ultimate competitor, ultimate teammate. Understands his role. Understands how to maximize his role," said Horst. "Love what he did. I think if we have an opportunity to have him back and I know that he's expressed that that's something that he would like to do. Hopefully we can figure something out when the time's right."
"I think Jevon found a little bit of his best self with us," said Horst. "I think hopefully he'd like to be back here, we'd like to try to figure out how to have him back."
Horst also addressed the move the Bucks made in February for Serge Ibaka while Brook Lopez continued to return from back surgery. Donte DiVicenzo was traded to the Sacremento Kings and Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye were sent to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Bucks in return got Ibaka and second round picks from the Kings and Clippers.
Ibaka played 19 regular season games with Milwaukee, starting two. He played six playoff games, with minimal minutes in each.
"When (the trade) happened, we absolutely needed Serge to come in and bridge the gap. Beyond the insurance part of Brook, we needed immediate help of someone to come in. that's where we thought we were at that point in the season. Serge did a great job. Serge really came in and helped us bridge that gap for us in a big way. Beyond that he was an incredible professional," said Horst.
"At the end of the day we traded Donte, who would have been a restricted free agent for some future assets that I think we'll be able to use and hopefully repurpose and do something that can continue to help this team going forward. Obviously how it played out, being down a wing and up a big, not the greatest. Totally convinced and convicted with why we did it and how we did it. Actually, really happy with the outcome and I think it got us to the position we were in."