Coach: Adrian Griffin, first season.
What to expect: The Bucks could need some time to adapt to the wholesale changes they made after their stunning first-round playoff loss. That could make it difficult for the Bucks to post the NBA’s best record again, but they should be one of the league’s top contenders as they chase their second championship in four years. The acquisition of seven-time all-NBA performer Damian Lillard to pair with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo gives Milwaukee arguably the league’s top duo. Three-time All-Star Khris Middleton and 7-footer Brook Lopez will join them in the starting lineup after both chose to stay in Milwaukee rather than leaving as free agents. Lopez made the All-Defensive team last season. Middleton played just 33 games due to multiple injuries and underwent knee surgery in the summer. Candidates for the fifth starting spot include newcomer Malik Beasley, Pat Connaughton and 2022 first-round pick MarJon Beauchamp. Jae Crowder, who joined the Bucks at last season's trade deadline is back and could have a bigger role with a new coaching staff. The Bucks fired Mike Budenholzer after their playoff exit and replaced him with Griffin, a first-time head coach who was a Toronto Raptors assistant the last five seasons.
Departures: G Jrue Holiday, G Grayson Allen, PG Jevon Carter, G Goran Dragic, G George Hill, F Joe Ingles, C Meyers Leonard, F Wesley Matthews.
Additions: Lillard, Beasley, G Andre Jackson Jr., C Robin Lopez, G Cameron Payne, G TyTy Washington.
Player to watch: All eyes will be on Lillard as he plays for a different team after spending the last 11 seasons with Portland. The Bucks see him as the piece that can help bring them another title iafter two straight early playoff exits. They’ll need the 33-year-old guard to stay healthy. He played just 29 games due to an abdominal injury in 2021-22 and was limited to 58 games last season while dealing with a calf strain.
Season opener: Oct. 26 vs. Philadelphia 76ers.
FanDuel Sportsbook title odds: Nearly 5-1.