Milwaukee Bucks: How deep will the rotation run next season?

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports) /

With increasing strength in depth on the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster, just how deep will Mike Budenholzer’s rotation run next season?

Depth was a key feature of the Milwaukee Bucks’ success last season, and there’s every reason to believe it could be an even stronger element of their play in 2019-20.

The decision to trade Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers means that the Bucks’ starting lineup is virtually guaranteed to take a step back in terms of its ultimate upside. The decisions made by Jon Horst in the time since have ensured that the Bucks will at least enter the new year with a more experienced and accomplished supporting cast, though.

More from Bucks News

Even with a roster spot still open and the potential for another veteran contributor to be added into the mix, the recent signings of Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Kyle Korver have all added a new flavor to Milwaukee’s squad.

As my colleague Jordan Treske explored on Monday, the Bucks appear to have placed an obvious focus on adding an extra element of NBA wisdom and veteran know-how, which is understandable given the manner of the team’s four consecutive losses to put an end to their Conference Finals series with the Toronto Raptors.

For all of their talent, and the effectiveness and efficiency of Milwaukee’s system throughout the season, the Bucks did stumble with a spot in the Finals within arm’s reach. With that in mind, bolstering the roster with more players who will be comfortable in those situations makes perfect sense.

Of course, the other side of adding capable players to a roster is the juggling act of trying to find them all minutes on a nightly basis.

Over the years as a coach, Budenholzer has shown a willingness to go as deep as 11-man rotations on a regular basis. For the majority of his first season with the Bucks, nine players could be expected to suit up on a given night, with room for that to be tweaked a little either way depending on form or injuries.

Looking to the 2019-20 season, it will be even more difficult for Bud to to keep his rotation tight; not that there’s any real reason for him to want to do that. A longer rotation reduces the workload on the team’s starters and, as we saw last season, can help in ensuring good health for the duration of the regular season and playoffs.

The identity of the Bucks’ starting shooting guard for next season remains a question we’re months away from getting a concrete answer on.

For the sake of argument, if Wesley Matthews joins Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez in the starting lineup, finding minutes for veterans George Hill, Kyle Korver, Pat Connaughton, Ersan Ilyasova and Robin Lopez would immediately bring Milwaukee’s rotation to 10.

Beyond that, minutes for Sterling Brown, D.J. Wilson, Donte DiVincenzo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, young players who remain projects to varying extents, would still need to be accounted for, and that doesn’t even consider the possibility of another capable contributor coming in with the 15th spot.

In addition to that, the recently signed Frank Mason III and Cameron Reynolds possess their own upside on two-way deals, along with some NBA experience already under their wings.

The Bucks undoubtedly had more than their fair share of good luck with injuries last year, with only Brogdon facing a sustained spell on the sidelines among the team’s key starters. The chances of similar fortune next season may well be quite slim, but at least Milwaukee can feel more than confident in having sufficient numbers and quality of depth to rally the storms that could come their way.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Get to know veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver. dark

In recent seasons, many of the Bucks’ rivals have paid for their lack of depth, but Milwaukee should have no such problem in 2019-20.