Milwaukee Bucks: Like it or not, Rashad Vaughn will get minutes this year

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 02: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 02: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Even if his Las Vegas Summer League heroics don’t mean much, Rashad Vaughn might have to play real minutes on the Milwaukee Bucks this season.

Rashad Vaughn has become a real, genuine topic of conversation for Milwaukee Bucks fans. This is what Summer League does to people. Better Vaughn than Thon Maker, I guess.

Anyway, the discussion is basically thus: now that Vaughn has (finally) done good things on a basketball floor, some Bucks fans think he’s ready to become a rotational piece, while others think Summer League doesn’t matter and this is all irrelevant.

For more nuanced takes, myself, Adam McGee and Jordan Treske discussed this very topic, along with many others, on the latest Win in 6 Podcast for your listening pleasure.

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Anyway, whether your Vaughn jersey is in the mail or you’re wishing the Bucks would assign him to the Wisconsin Herd, the truth is that Milwaukee could well end up relying on the third-year wing from UNLV.

Let’s take a look at the Bucks depth chart as it stands, shall we? This will be a better one than the version that ESPN had, which claimed Spencer Hawes, Thon Maker and John Henson were forwards.

At point guard, Milwaukee has Malcolm Brogdon, Matthew Dellavedova (who I believe should be a two-guard), and Gary Payton II, if he makes it to the regular season. At the two the Bucks have Tony Snell, Sterling Brown, and Vaughn.

At small forward Milwaukee has Khris Middleton and … uh … sometimes Giannis Antetokounmpo. At power forward the Bucks have Giannis, Mirza Teletovic, Jabari Parker when he returns from his injury, and there’s D.J. Wilson, too.

Finally, at center, Milwaukee has the fearsome foursome: Greg Monroe, Thon Maker, John Henson and Spencer Hawes. That’s 15 players. There’s Bronson Koenig and Jalen Moore, too, but there’s limits to how long they can be on the NBA team before they’d have to be signed to minimum deals, which the Bucks have no roster spots for at the moment.

The guard and wing rotation is pretty apparently thin. It’s very likely that Tony Snell will have to play some small forward if Middleton is sitting at times, because there just are no other small forwards on the roster besides Giannis, who could slide down and allow a power forward to play next to him.

Either way, even if Snell stays in place, the starting guards project to be him and Brogdon, with Delly getting a good amount of minutes as well. The remaining guards on the roster are the Mitten, rookie Sterling Brown, and Rashad Vaughn. That’s it.

Despite his signing last summer being seen as more of a veteran presence move than anything else, Jason Terry ended up playing over 1,300 minutes last season. He’s now off the roster, and if he does return it will almost certainly come at the cost of the non-guaranteed contract of Payton II.

Either way, the Bucks do not have many guards to play with, and JET’s 1,300 minutes now have to be filled somehow. Vaughn averaged 11.2 minutes and played in just 41 games last season. That was with Terry on the roster and playing often, and with the Bucks guards staying remarkably healthy.

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Between Snell, Brogdon, Dellavedova and Terry, Milwaukee’s guards missed an average of just under six games each, or 23 games total. None of them played less than 74 games, and that was the 39-year-old JET. Snell played nearly 30 minutes per game, and missed two games all season — the first game, because he had just been acquired, and the last game, due to rest.

Even minor injuries that cause a Bucks guard to sit out for a while will basically ensure that some untested guards have to play a lot. If Snell needed a night off, for example, the starting guards would likely become Brogdon and Delly, leaving GPII, Vaughn, and Brown as the only reserve options.

Even though Summer League means almost nothing, out of that group Vaughn has played the best thus far. The Bucks found a ton of success with a rookie guard picked in the second round last season, but can Brown be relied upon as an everyday contributor right out of the gate?

Next: Win In 6 Podcast #137: Early Summer League impressions

Maybe he can, maybe he can’t, but the long and the short of it is that even if it’s not right away, Rashad Vaughn will probably get a chance to play very significant minutes this coming season. It remains to be seen what, if anything, he does with them, but Milwaukee Bucks fans should be hoping his Summer League success translates when his number is called in the regular season.