Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams’ Last Stand

Oct 8, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard C.J. Williams (21) attempts a steal from Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) at the Kohl Center. Milwaukee defeated Dallas 88-74. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard C.J. Williams (21) attempts a steal from Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) at the Kohl Center. Milwaukee defeated Dallas 88-74. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s no secret that Michael Carter-Williams is entering a make or break season, but the personnel for the Milwaukee Bucks adds more complications for him than solutions.

With the regular season fast approaching, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to get off on the right foot.

Unfortunately, the loss of Khris Middleton has dampened some of the excitement for the start of the season, along with tempering any cautious optimism from fans for their chances this year.  But long before the news of Middleton’s injury, the Bucks still faced big questions regarding their roster that has only been magnified more in recent weeks.

The biggest of those questions concerns the presence of both Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams on the team’s roster, whose underwhelming fits respectively have raised plenty of questions and many trade rumors.

While any buzz surrounding Monroe has largely stayed the same for many months, the feelings around Carter-Williams took a different turn this offseason. Key Bucks officials, like head coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond, gave their vote of confidence for Carter-Williams over the offseason, despite the team adding Matthew Dellavdeova.

However, with the season just around the corner, it didn’t take long for Carter-Williams’ name to resurface in the rumor mill once again like it did late last week.

According to Marc Stein of, the Bucks reportedly inquired for a potential wing replacement for Middleton this year and included Carter-Williams with one team in particular:

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"The Bucks, sources say, have since offered former Rookie of the Year guard Michael Carter-Williams to the Sacramento Kings in a trade proposal for Ben McLemore and will continue to probe for potential deals after the Kings rebuffed that pitch for 2013’s No. 7 overall pick."

That certainly caught the attention of all Bucks fans, as well as Carter-Williams himself.  Not long after though, Kidd made an appearance on Sirius XMNBA Radio and came to Carter-Williams’ defense and shot down any potential trade talk:

"“Rumors are just part of this business. We’re happy with Michael (Carter-Williams). He’s had a great summer and has worked extremely hard and it showed in the first game in Chicago. He came off the bench and I think he led us in rebounds. He can be one of the best wing defenders in this league. He helped us late in the game running the team at the point guard position. There’s always speculation around different guys, but I think Michael is going to help us win.”"

As Kidd alluded to, we’ve been through this ringer a few times now with both Carter-Williams and Monroe so any trade talk isn’t exactly out of the ordinary at this point.  Regardless, the age-old question that still remains though with Carter-Williams is his fit within a revamped Bucks team.

The loss of Middleton leaves an incredible shooting void alongside the team’s promising young stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker within the starting lineup.  Obviously the same applies for Carter-Williams, who the Bucks potentially have to build a second unit around this year.

That now leaves the Bucks with the likes of Jason Terry and Mirza Teletovic to provide the proper shooting needed surrounding Carter-Williams (although the experiment of Teletovic playing alongside Parker and Antetokounmpo that was confirmed by’s Zach Lowe last week could potentially throw a wrench in that plan).

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In addition to the shooting questions, another area of intrigue that few saw coming is how Carter-Williams fits next to Malcolm Brogdon.

Since being drafted by the team only a few months ago, Brogdon has arguably looked his best initiating the offense and handling his fair share of playmaking duties.

Yes, we only have a handful of Summer League and preseason games as evidence so far, so this should be taken with several grains of salt, but it’s been a consistent role for Brogdon nonetheless.

If that holds up once the season begins, how that could affect Carter-Williams is incredibly interesting and admittedly, a little troubling.

Taking the ball out of Carter-Williams’ hands leaves him without his most reliable way to make an impact offensively, due to his shooting limitations.  That may ultimately raise the level of the offense in general, considering the question marks over Carter-Williams’ distribution, but it’d potentially hamstring Carter-Williams even further if that’s the case.

All in all, we’ve yet to have the season get underway, but again we’re facing all too familiar questions with Michael Carter-Williams.

Next: Five Takeaways From The Bucks Preseason Game Against The Mavericks

It almost seems like these questions are as old as time itself by how things have progressed in the time he’s been in Milwaukee.  Yet the one thing that’s for sure is that there’s only so much time left before we have our final answer with Carter-Williams.