Milwaukee Bucks: Making sense of the current logjam at the wing position

Apr 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, Donte DiVincenzo, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /

For better or for worse, the current Milwaukee Bucks don’t look much like the team that won a Larry O’Brien trophy just a few weeks ago.

Wherever one might stand on the departure of top dog P.J. Tucker, the team management’s subsequent wholesale acquisition of wing talent brings with it an entirely new set of decisions to make. It’s an excellent problem to have and one that’s more of a luxury in today’s NBA.

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With the acquisition of Grayson Allen, the Bucks have three shooting guards and five small forwards on the roster. Of course, Khris Middleton is obviously starting at either position, but past him, the next man up at the wings seems to be a wash with the way the roster is constructed.

The roster is by no means misshapen. There’s no such thing as too many wings or depth in this league. But what the new signings mean is that the stability of last year’s lineup has effectively been thrown into flux.

Here’s a quick look at what the minutes situation might look like and mean moving forward in an attempt to answer the Bucks’ looming questions at the two and three spots.

The lingering question: which talented wing starts at shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks?

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks traded shooting guard Sam Merill and two second-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for combo guard Grayson Allen.

Reputation aside, Allen adds shooting and toughness to a Milwaukee Bucks team that just lost P.J. Tucker and Bryn Forbes. Much has been said about his on-court antics, but in the final analysis, it’s a sound basketball move that makes sense given the team’s needs post-NBA championship.

In the wake of the decision, fans were quick to wonder if Donte DiVincenzo’s days as the starting shooting guard—or even a Milwaukee Buck—were numbered. And in truth, it’s a logical starting point for a team that just won a championship without its fifth starter. It isn’t a reach to imagine Allen taking the starting nod for the time being should DiVincenzo’s injury render him unable to play to start the season.

Allen, who averaged 10.6 points per game on 39.1 percent shooting from deep with Memphis last year, can easily replace the role shooting guard Bryn Forbes played on this Bucks team—and more. For the first time, the Milwaukee Bucks have a sharpshooting wing who they won’t need to sequester on the defensive end. The 25-year-old held opposing guards to 38.6 percent shooting this past season when he was the closest defender, according to

According to Cleaning the Glass, the 6-foot-5 wing also scored 119.3 points per 100 shot attempts, ranking him in the 75th percentile in his position.  This is a far cry from Forbes’ 126.6 PSA, which was good for the 99th percentile, but a significant improvement over DiVincenzo’s 43rd percentile PSA.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the inward attention he commands have shown that he can make good shooters look great. His incendiary two-man game with Bryn Forbes is well-documented and saw the latter putting in the best season of his career from the three-point line with a .452 shooting efficiency from deep—good for 4th in the NBA.

If Allen were to replicate this two-man game with the Finals MVP as possibly the team’s best catch-and-shoot threat, this can only spell good things for an occasionally dry Bucks’ offense that relies largely on its floor-spacers as evidenced by their ninth-ranked points per game on catch and shoot opportunities this past season.