Bucks emerge as frontrunners to sign Goran Dragic after buyout with Bulls, per report

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The Milwaukee Bucks have emerged as the front-runners to sign free agent point guard Goran Dragic, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Bucks will meet with Dragic on Friday and hope to secure a commitment from him then. The Bucks tried to sign Dragic a season ago after he received a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs, according to Wojnarowski, but he ultimately landed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Dragic has had a relatively disappointing season with the Bulls. He is averaging just 6.4 points per game, the lowest mark he’s posted since his rookie season, and shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from behind the arc. The Bulls, missing Lonzo Ball all season, are below .500 and struggling to stay in the play-in race. Dragic, a 36-year-old veteran seeking his first championship, secured a buyout after he wasn’t dealt at the deadline. He had largely fallen out of the rotation since then.

The Bucks have been among the NBA‘s best teams for several years now despite their half-court offense. They have the NBA’s best record this season but rank just 19th in half-court points per play, according to Cleaning the Glass. Dragic, a proven point guard and pick-and-roll operator, gives them a floor general for their bench to help keep the offense afloat when Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to the bench. That sort of player is especially important this season, with Khris Middleton, their primary pick-and-roll ball-handler, dealing with injuries.

Still, finding minutes for Dragic on a crowded contending roster will be difficult. All-Star Jrue Holiday will play close to 40 minutes per game when it counts. Grayson Allen has been a starter for much of the season. Jevon Carter has emerged as a stellar point-of-attack defender who is shooting over 41 percent from deep. Wesley Matthews is among their fiercest defenders and handled that Jayson Tatum assignment for much of last season’s series against the Boston Celtics. Pat Connaughton largely plays forward, but there will be alignments in which he plays guard in the postseason.

Dragic won’t choose the Bucks if he doesn’t think he can play for them. If he does head to Milwaukee, Mike Budenholzer will likely spend the remainder of the regular season figuring out how to balance all of those guards. Dragic’s ball-handling would be a welcome addition to a roster that doesn’t have much of it, but considering how talented this roster is, there are going to be very capable players that get pushed out of the rotation.

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