Although the Milwaukee Bucks made the playoffs for just the second time in seven years in 2013, their chances of returning to the postseason anytime soon will hinge on decisions from some of their star players this offseason.
Three of Milwaukee's four leading scorers could leave the organization in this summer, following the Bucks' season-ending loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday. Brandon Jennings is set to become a restricted free agent, while key reserve J.J. Redick will be an unrestricted free agent. Monta Ellis has a player-option for 2014 which would allow him to leave Milwaukee as well.
The Bucks' future was a hot-button issue following Sunday's game, but a subject interim head coach Jim Boylan seemed to have little interest in discussing just moments after his season ended.
"We've got a lot of decisions to make," Boylan said in his postgame press conference. "To look at anything now seems a bit too soon."
Milwaukee's offseason decisions start with Jennings, who has spent all four of his NBA seasons with the Bucks. Jennings turned down a four-year, $40 million contract in the offseason according to Yahoo Sports, and has already stated that even a one-year qualifying at $4.5 million wouldn't keep him in Milwaukee beyond the 2013-2014 season.
Still, Boylan remains optimistic that Jennings will return to Milwaukee.
"I think he'll be back," Boylan said. "Brandon is a big part of our franchise."
Things are equally uncertain with Ellis, Milwaukee's leading scorer at 19.2 points per game in the regular season. The Racine (WI) Journal Times has previously reported that Ellis will opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and Ellis' postgame comments gave little reason to indicate otherwise.
"That's a decision I have to make," Ellis said on Sunday, after being asked about his future with the organization.
Finally there's Redick, who seems to be the most likely of all Milwaukee's guards to leave the organization this summer.
The sharp-shooter was acquired by the Bucks at the trade deadline this past February, but has struggled in his adjustment to Milwaukee.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Redick isn't even on speaking terms with Boylan.