As we approach the dawn of another NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves at a crossroads. The anticipation in the air is palpable, mixed with a healthy dose of nervousness and, of course, excitement.
Training Camp is right around the corner, with the team eligible to report on October 2nd and official proceedings tipping off on the 3rd. With new head coach Adrian Griffin at the helm, the Bucks are poised for a fresh start, laden with potential and questions in equal measure.
In our quest to dissect the Bucks’ current state of affairs and set the stage for the upcoming campaign, let’s delve into their depth chart. While traditional positions still hold some relevance, the modern NBA has blurred the lines between them, emphasizing versatility and adaptability. So, with that in mind, let’s take stock of the Bucks’ roster and see how it’s shaping up.
- Jrue Holiday
- Lindell Wigginton (Two-Way)
- TyTy Washington (Two-Way)
- Jazian Gortman (Non-Guaranteed)
In the Bucks’ backcourt, Jrue Holiday stands as the lone figure resembling a traditional point guard, though that classification seems to undersell his multifaceted role. The postseason has revealed the toll this dual responsibility – playmaking and defensive stalwart – takes on Holiday. It’s a burden that, theoretically, could be lightened by adding a true point guard to share the load. Yet, Milwaukee’s intentions appear to diverge from this conventional wisdom.
Enter TyTy Washington, a tantalizing prospect plucked towards the end of the first round in 2022. His potential is undeniable, but there’s a simmering need for seasoning before he’s ready to make a meaningful impact in the NBA. It’s a major issue for the Bucks if any of the above-listed players find themselves logging substantial minutes during the upcoming season.
- Khris Middleton
- Jae Crowder
- Grayson Allen
- Pat Connaughton
- Malik Beasley
- MarJon Beauchamp
- A.J. Green
- Andre Jackson Jr.
- Omari Moore (Two-Way)
- Chris Livingston
The conundrum surrounding Jae Crowder’s position on this list, and his overall categorization as a wing/forward, injects an element of uncertainty as we venture into training camp. It’s entirely plausible that he could find himself rebranded as a big, opening up the possibility for the Bucks to dabble in small-ball lineups, anchored by Giannis Antetokounmpo at center. But if last season serves as any sort of guide, Crowder’s place in the pecking order might see a significant shift. There are a multitude of questions surrounds Crowder’s role with Milwaukee, and training camp will offer a crucial glimpse into the unfolding narrative.
As we peer into the depths of the Bucks’ roster, a logjam of sorts emerges among Allen, Connaughton, Beasley, Beauchamp, and Green. The impending question is whether there are ample minutes to go around for all these players. Within this intriguing tangle, there lies the potential for roster adjustments, with Allen and Connaughton emerging as prime candidates for any potential mid-tier upgrades via trade.
Andre Jackson Jr. is another player that stands out as a mysterical figure, potentially holding the keys to unlock the Bucks’ offensive prowess. While he boasts ball-handling and passing prowess that could warrant a shift to point guard by the conclusion of training camp, his lanky frame suggests a more natural fit as a wing defender. The intrigue surrounding Jackson’s unique skill set is palpable, offering Milwaukee a unique presence not seen in these parts for quite some time.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Brook Lopez
- Bobby Portis
- Robin Lopez
- Thanasis Antetokounmpo
- Marques Bolden (Non-Guaranteed)
- Drew Timme (Non-Guaranteed)
Watching Adrian Griffin’s approach to blending ball pressure with the unique skill sets of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez promises to be a captivating spectacle. The Toronto Raptors showcased the art of integrating a player like Jakob Poeltl into their scheme seamlessly following a mid-season trade, and there’s every reason to believe the Bucks can replicate this feat with Lopez.
However, when it comes to assimilating into this new defensive scheme, Bobby Portis might present a more challenging puzzle. Portis doesn’t quite fit the mold for the traditional drop pick-and-roll defense that was the hallmark of Mike Budenholzer’s tenure. Yet, he doesn’t possess the lightning-quick agility or otherworldly wingspan to pester perimeter players. Consequently, it’s highly probable that Griffin and the Bucks will opt for a ball-pressure approach involving positions one through four, with their big men alternating assignments based on their respective strengths. The adaptation process for Portis, in particular, will be one to watch closely as the season unfolds.