Bucks Rumors: Hornets' Frank Kaminsky a Free Agent Target If Brook Lopez Leaves

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIMay 31, 2019

Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky (44) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

While the Milwaukee Bucks don't have to worry about Giannis Antetokounmpo's free agency until 2021, the franchise may have to rethink who to pair with him should Brook Lopez opt to leave as a free agent this summer.

According to Sporting News' Sean Deveney, the Bucks might consider adding Charlotte Hornets center Frank Kaminsky: 

"The Bucks have a quandary in the frontcourt with the possibility that big man Brook Lopez was so productive this season that he played himself out of Milwaukee's price range. [...]

"Kaminsky was on the outs for most of the season in Charlotte, and according to sources, the Bucks attempted to trade for him at the deadline but were turned down and eventually acquired Nikola Mirotic. As free agency approaches, expect Milwaukee to have Kaminsky as an option again should the Bucks lose Lopez."

Kaminsky was very popular in Wisconsin as a collegiate star for four years with Wisconsin Badgers. The 7-footer was drafted by Charlotte No. 9 overall in 2015.

Since then, Kaminsky has started only 23 games but appeared in 282. Across his four-year NBA career, he is averaging 9.8 points, four rebounds and 1.6 assists. 

Kaminsky is set to become a restricted free agent.

While restricted, a divorce between Charlotte and Kaminsky may be best for both sides. In February, Deveney reported that the 26-year-old was "very frustrated" as buyout talks with the Hornets stalled. 

"Kaminsky had the impression that he could work out a buyout and finish the year someplace where he could play more regularly," Deveney wrote at the time. "Teams that were interested in him at the deadline would, naturally, have a chance to sign him on the buyout market." 

It seems now that the Bucks, who were one of those interested teams at the deadline, could sign him as a restricted free agent. 

Milwaukee's preference would probably be to keep Lopez, who was extremely valuable in his lone season as a Buck, especially in the postseason.

While Milwaukee signed the veteran last summer as a free agent and only had to pay him $3.3 million this season, he most likely will capitalize on the free agent market this summer, so writes SB Nation's Kristian Winfield: 

"No, he's not going to command a max contract, but he won't be a minimum contract player either. We've never seen a big man reinvent his game so drastically 11 years into his career. Lopez's play, in a way, is setting the market and paving the way for future players to do the same.

"The unfortunate part is it will be tough for Milwaukee to retain him. They already signed Eric Bledsoe to a longterm contract extension, and item A on the off-season to-do list will be re-signing Khris Middleton to a max or near-max contract. Malcolm Brogdon's restricted free agency is also approaching. It costs to keep championship contenders together, and Milwaukee does not have Lopez's Bird Rights, meaning they can't match any offer that's above 120 percent of his current salary."

Brodgen, Middleton, Mirotic and Pau Gasol are some of the other Bucks who could hit free agency this summer, according to ESPN.

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