Happy Independence Day to all of our US readers! In the spirit of the day (or something, I don’t know, this is a tough segue), the Milwaukee Bucks are bringing back Serge Ibaka on a one-year deal. Terms of the deal aren’t immediately known, but the notable wrinkle in this signing is that Milwaukee holds Ibaka’s Early Bird rights, meaning that the Bucks could go over the cap to sign Ibaka to a larger contract.
The basketball operation in Milwaukee is pretty straightforward this offseason; once again, most of the same players will return to fill similar roles, and the Bucks will approach the coming campaign as a marathon towards the NBA Finals. Long-term continuity is a staple of very few franchises, but the Bucks have embraced it. Their gamble is that not taking gambles is the surest path to get where they want to go.
Jul. 3—Years from now, fans in Milwaukee and those of Giannis Antetokounmpo worldwide might look back at the Bucks superstar's career and say it never got better than in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. It was a performance for the ages — 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in a Game 6 close-out win over the Suns. A few weeks earlier, Antetokounmpo suffered what looked like a gruesome knee ...