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
May 10, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have unproven wing talent with the potential to be great

Until the Hood and Allen moves materialized this offseason, fans projected Jordan Nwora to play a bigger role on this Bucks team coming into next season.

It made sense at the time. After Forbes, he was probably the next best shooter on a Bucks team dependent on kicking the ball out to shooters.

It seemed he was patiently waiting in the rookie trenches all season long for his time to come. A cursory glance at the numbers he put up this season and during his FIBA campaign with team Nigeria shows that he is ready for the moment. The 6-foot-8 forward shot the three on 45.2 percent shooting on 2.7 attempts per game. Given his size, it’s difficult not to be enamored with his scoring potential.

Unfortunately, due to his defensive ability (or lack thereof) and lateral quickness (or lack thereof), Nwora’s minutes may ultimately be situational at best in the wake of general manager Jon Horst’s acquisitions this offseason. As a result, he may see minutes playing a more lumbering power forward role as Antetokounmpo’s backup.

The potential that Semi Ojeleye flaunts might also be too tempting to pass up for the defending champs. He’s an athletic, muscular specimen with all the physical tools he needs to be an excellent, switchable defender the way Tucker was at the wing position. While it’s easy to grow infatuated with the 26-year-old wing’s possible ceiling, Ojeleye put in a largely lackluster season for the Boston Celtics just a year ago, which saw him putting up 4.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game on .403/.367/.750 shooting splits.

Expecting Tucker’s immediate replacement is a lofty supposition for someone shooting below league average. Ojeleye is a low-risk, high-reward talent who can eventually be something if given the time to develop—something the win-now defending champions are simply in short supply of these days.

Elijah Bryant is also another name to keep in mind. The 6-foot-5 guard has not demonstrated much yet after being signed midway through the season, and any signs of NBA-caliber talent remain scant. However, a solid showing at the NBA Summer League could possibly swing the perceptions surrounding him and what he can bring to the team.