NBA free agency rumors: JR Smith, Bucks meet

By Ameer Tyree 19 July 2019 683
NBA free agency rumors: JR Smith, Bucks meet

It appears the Bucks are looking to add some outside shooting.

They are meeting Thursday with former Cavaliers guard JR Smith, according to The Athletic, which cited unidentified league sources.

Smith, 33, was waived by Cleveland earlier this week after spending almost five seasons with the team. He appeared in only 11 games in 2018-19 after agreeing to leave the team in November to await a trade or his release.

Milwaukee could have plenty of use for Smith if the two sides can reach an agreement though.

The Bucks retained 3-and-D wing Khris Middleton by giving him a five-year, $178 million deal this offseason. But they also sent a 50-40-90 shooter in Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers in a sign-and-trade. Only the Rockets attempted more 3-pointers per game than the Bucks last season, so a 37.3% career 3-point shooter like Smith could help fill the void left by Brogdon's departure.

The Bucks had a league-best 60-22 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before being eliminated by the Raptors in six games. But star Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard is out of the picture now, as he joined the Clippers in the Western Conference in July.

Milwaukee has the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2019 Coach of the Year in Mike Budenholzer — who transformed the organization's offense in his first season leading the team. Role-players like Smith and Wesley Matthews could help the Bucks get over the hump and return to the Finals for the first time since 1974.

About Author

Ameer Tyree

Comment