Milwaukee Bucks: Can Rashad Vaughn become a valuable contributor?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Rashad Vaughn (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Rashad Vaughn (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

In his first two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, Rashad Vaughn has been a non-factor. Is this the year that Vaughn’s role changes on the team?

The shooting guard position is jam-packed this season for the Milwaukee Bucks. After returning from the hamstring injury that knocked him out for much of last season, Khris Middleton will be the starting shooting guard for the team this season.

As evidenced by his appearances in several top-50 player lists, it is clear that Middleton is one of the most vital parts of this Milwaukee roster. He is a great shooter who can create for himself as well as others. On top of that, Middleton is an excellent defender.

Then, behind Middleton is Tony Snell, who had a breakout season a year ago. After being traded to the Bucks in the preseason, Snell became a starter while Middleton was out with injury. Snell emerged as a knockdown three-point shooter and a solid defender.

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These two players will make up the majority of the minutes distribution for the shooting guard position, but who takes the third-string minutes. There are three potential options for minutes at that spot.

First, veteran Jason Terry is returning to the team this season and he showed no signs of slowing down last season. Terry is a shooter with on and off the court leadership qualities.

Then there is the possibility of rookie Sterling Brown seeing minutes. Brown was a very good three-point shooter in college and the hope is that his body and jump shot are NBA-ready.

Lastly, third-year player Rashad Vaughn is still on the roster. Although this will be his third year in the league, Vaughn is still just 21 years of age. He was one of the youngest players in his draft class and is still working on finding a place with the Bucks.

In his first two seasons, Vaughn has appeared in 111 games, averaging 13.1 minutes and 3.5 points per game. Despite being known as a three-point shooter out of college, Vaughn has shot just 30.3 percent from deep in his career. Heading into this season, it is time for Vaughn to make an impact on the Bucks.

As a potential third-string shooting guard, the role would not be too big — 15 minutes per game at most. In order for him to achieve this, two things will need to happen. First, Vaughn will need to become a better in-game three-point shooter. He does not need to become the greatest shooter in the world but knocking down between 35-40 percent of his deep shots would be a major improvement.

On the defensive end of the ball, Vaughn also needs to show more consistency. In order to win minutes on any team, showing dedication to both ends of the floor is vital. In the past, Vaughn has shown glimpses of being a solid NBA defender due to his size and quickness, but his defensive reactions can get better.

For Vaughn to become a major contributor off the bench for the Bucks, these two things have to happen. He needs to be trusted by his teammates to make the right play on both sides of the ball, and he has not reached his full potential yet. Still, this is his third season and the clock might be ticking on how long he remains with the team.

This is a very important season for Vaughn, and how he performs in practice and in potential G League games will make a major difference. If Vaughn spends time in the G League, he will need to be the best player on the team in every game if he wants to find his way back to the league. There is hope left, but time is running out.

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Rashad Vaughn is approaching a massive season for his career, but maybe this is the year that things start to click for him. Whether as a leader on the G League team or a third-string shooting guard with the Bucks, Vaughn has a lot to prove this season.