Report: Bryn Forbes Declines $2.5M Bucks Contract Option, Will Become Free Agent

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks guard Bryn Forbes in action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Miami. The Bucks won 144-97. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Bryn Forbes will enter free agency after declining his $2.45 million option with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2021-22 NBA season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

After four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, the 28-year-old signed with the Bucks last offseason. He averaged 10.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 70 appearances, and his best performance came in a 143-136 loss to the Houston Rockets on April 29 when he scored 30 points off the bench.

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Head coach Mike Budenholzer used Forbes to great effect as a three-point specialist. According to Basketball Reference, 64.5 percent of his field-goal attempts were from long range, and he hit them at a career-high 45.2 percent clip.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Forbes was fourth in the NBA in three-point shooting (45 percent) – and third best among players with 200-plus attempts. Forbes averaged 12.2 points on 48 percent three-point shooting in February when starting guard Jrue Holiday was sidelined. https://t.co/6K0uVqOaO3

During Milwaukee's first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, Forbes briefly enjoyed the spotlight. He hit six threes in Game 2 and drained seven in the series-clinching Game 4 victory.

He came back to earth after that, averaging 6.6 points per game during the postseason, but he shot 37.1 percent from three-point territory as the Bucks won the NBA championship.

Forbes' value beyond his shooting was limited.

Per Stathead, he had the second-lowest assist rate (4.5 percent) among guards who logged at least 1,000 minutes. He also ranked 110th out of 116 shooting guards in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus (minus-2.28). According to NBA.com, opponents shot 43.2 percent on three-pointers when matched up against him.

The aforementioned game against the Rockets was a microcosm of Forbes' year. He caught fire from the perimeter, going 6-of-10, but he had just one steal to go along with his scoring output, failing to register an assist or rebound.

Three-point shooting has never been more valuable, so a veteran who makes them at a rate in the mid-40s is bound to get interest on the open market. The Michigan State alum could plausibly get more money and long-term security than his last contract provided him.

However, mid-level free agents often get squeezed during difficult financial periods, like the current one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perhaps Forbes can take on a larger role than the one he occupied in Milwaukee. If nothing else, he should be a target for a playoff contender that needs floor-spacing.