As the Bucks turn the corner on the 2014 NBA off-season and push the previous game-changing moves (I.e Jason Kidd and Jabari Parker) to the rear view mirror, and look to make the necessary moves for the 2014-15 season. After the Bucks focused heavily on the front-court during the 2014 draft, there was an elevated level of concern about the team’s lack of depth with their guard rotation. Besides Wolters and Knight, there really wasn’t a back-court player that’s guaranteed to see any significant minutes or have a positive impact.
Over the past week, Milwaukee has tried to focus on that issue with the recent acquisitions of Kendall Marshall and Jerryd Bayless. As we start to move through the dead portion of the NBA off season, I’m going to examine the aforementioned additions and take a look at their potential fit inside Milwaukee’s system. To begin this extended examination, we’re going to take a look at veteran point guard Jerryd Bayless.
Despite entering his 7th NBA season, the 25-year-old Bayless is still considered to the kind of player who has yet to reach the lofty expectations that come with being the 11th pick in the 2008 draft. With that in mind, Bayless has been permanently stuck in a role as a spot-starter/3rd guard through the majority of his NBA career. Even though that might not seem to be that awful of a situation, Bayless has failed to remain consistently solid. That particular issue and other various reasons have helped push Bayless to being a journeyman player. Counting Milwaukee, Bayless has played with six different NBA teams during his seven year career.
As he continued to change addresses on a year-by-year basis, Bayless has still been able to develop into a somewhat consistent offensive player. One of the more stable aspects of Bayless’ overall offensive arsenal has been his ability to score from the perimeter. Throughout his NBA career, Bayless has managed to shoot a respectable 35% from beyond the arc. After being dealt to the Celtics during the midst of the prior season, the 6’3 guard was able to elevate that percentage to a phenomenal 41%, which would’ve put him as Milwaukee’s top perimeter shooter.
That perimeter shooting knack has definitely pushed him into being a combo guard. Despite his small 6’3 frame, Bayless’ solid perimeter play and overall offensive arsenal definitely makes him a better fit as a shooting guard. When he does make that transition to his designated role as distributor, Bayless has been the definition of inconsistency. During that brief stint with the Celtics, Bayless had a sub-par 1.52 Ast/TO, which is actually pretty comparable to his overall career average. With that in mind, Bayless has his moments of having an extremely solid passing eye, and is able to make the difficult and important passes.
On the defensive end of the spectrum, Bayless has definitely been unable to become a solid, reliable defender. The combination of lack of lateral quickness and his slight frame may be the biggest factors behind his defensive struggles. In ISO situations, opposing guards are easily able to cut their way past the 6’3 guard on a consistent basis. While Bayless is pretty solid in PnR scenarios, it’s easily for him to get caught up in screens because of his smaller frame.
With his slight 6’3 frame in mind, Bayless lies in that strange area between point guard and shooting guard. As I previously mentioned, the veteran guard doesn’t really fit into that role of an atypical distributing guard. With that in mind, Bayless would seem to be a better fit at shooting guard because of his solid perimeter ability. Even though he’s regarded as under-sized at that position, he might be able to fill a small role inside Milwaukee’s rotation.
His aforementioned struggles as a distributor and defender definitely limits his potential inside Milwaukee’s rotation. While the Bucks still don’t feature a standout back-court option, Marshall, Wolters and Knight are definitely able to shine brighter than the seven-year veteran. With that in mind, Bayless should be able to work his way inside Milwaukee’s rotation because of his perimeter ability. With that previously mentioned trio, Bayless was the best long-range threat during the prior season. The best possible fit for Bayless inside Milwaukee’s rotation would probably be as one of Milwaukee’s main perimeter options in the team’s 2nd unit.