In the latest edition of our Milwaukee Bucks Twitter Mailbag, Tim Wray discusses the franchise’s future, long-term decisions that need to be made, the addition of Terrence Jones and much more.
After a couple of weeks in the wilderness, the mailbag is back!
In that time, we’ve witnessed Giannis Antetokounmpo anoint himself as the true ‘Smoothie King’ during the All-Star Game in New Orleans, whilst closer to home, the Bucks have continued their inconsistent run of form which sees them currently sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference at 26-33, two games back from the eighth placed Detroit Pistons.
The roster has also endured a little bit of a shake-up with the addition of Axel Toupane on a 10-day contract, the emotional farewell of franchise legend Roy Hibbert at the trade deadline and the reported signing of former New Orleans Pelican Terrence Jones for the remainder of the season.
Of course, it would be egregious of me not to welcome the 2019 Top-55 protected (not this again) second-round pick to the franchise as well.
Now, following the woeful performance against the Denver Nuggets at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night, I figured there couldn’t possibly be a better time (for those who didn’t turn the game off in disgust) to open the proverbial Twitter floodgates to any and all of your Bucks questions, thoughts, hot takes and even some nickname suggestions.
As always, If you happened to miss out this week and want to get involved, be sure to follow @BehindTheBucks on Twitter to keep an eye out for the Win in 6 Podcast mailbag on Sunday or to submit questions for this write-up on either Wednesday or Thursday nights (usually post-game).
Anyway, enough of that, let’s get to the questions!
I think that the Bucks have shown earlier this season, at least up until late-December, that even without Khris Middleton, this team has enough talent to compete for a decent playoff spot in the East. Now, obviously Jabari’s injury throws another spanner/wrench in the works moving forward into next season and beyond, but with the continued development of Giannis, Brogdon and Thon, coupled with the return to full health of Khash, I fully expect the Bucks to challenge for the fifth to eighth seed next season.
That being said, I think a lot of this relies on more than pure talent alone. It’s no secret that the Bucks’ defensive scheme, for lack of a better word, sucks. Changes definitely need to be made in that respect and a defensive center would certainly help, or ideally, if Thon could mature into a solid rim protector over the next few seasons.
Even for Jason Kidd, who loves to experiment with different starting lineups, this was really puzzling and even more so, when Vaughn only played five minutes (-11) for the night.
Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone in the locker room, but I feel that it’s probably not too big of a deal, just considering that Khris Middleton is still only seven games into his season and ended up playing starters minutes (31) anyway.
Not to sound completely negative, but amazing do-it-all role players don’t grow on trees and they’re certainly not cheap anymore. The reality is, if the Bucks could get them, they would.
Sure, some of the free agent signings over the Summer haven’t worked out as planned, but I think it’s hard to argue that the front office has had a horrendous year when you consider they picked up Thon and Brogdon in the draft, plus clearly won the Beasley and Snell trades.
The team’s problems lie deeper than just personnel issues.
The Bucks’ front office will have to answer a lot of questions this summer, and this will probably be at the top of the list.
Jason Kidd might just be sitting on the hottest seat in the league.
You’re 100 percent right.
The Bucks are renting 23 games of Terrence Jones for a playoff push.
Whilst he’s a decent player, it’s a very questionable fit with the Bucks on paper and what he does offensively/on the boards probably doesn’t do enough to push the team over the hump into the 7-8 seed.
On the flip side, this was a #BusinessDecision for Jones. Usually, it makes more sense to latch-on to a contender for the playoffs, however Jones only signed a $1.05 million contract in free agency last summer. He needs maximized minutes in order to showcase his talents ahead of upcoming contract negotiations and Milwaukee was the destination that could likely offer him the most to do so.
I stand unwavered and will only recognize Tony Snell’s on-court related activity nicknames and puns, including but not limited to:
“FROM THE DEPTHS OF SNELL”
“SNELL’S KITCHEN IS COOKING”
“WE’RE ON THE HIGHWAY TO SNELL”
“IF YA SNELLLLLLLLLLL”
…and of course, a personal favorite, D3LLY-SN3LLY-T3LLY bingo.
Bucks in Six.
I can never choose one, so I’ll probably be on the Jazz, Nuggets and Rockets train out West, then maybe the Celtics (picked them for the Eastern Conference Finals) back East.
Thanks for all of the great questions, everybody! Don’t forget to shoot us a tweet @BehindTheBucks to have your queries answered on next week’s Milwaukee Bucks Twitter Mailbag.