Milwaukee Bucks: Weighing options at the starting shooting guard spot

Jul 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo
Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Following their title-winning season, the Milwaukee Bucks have done a fantastic job retooling the roster through free agency and trade.

With a surplus of talent on the roster, including returning players and some new faces, head coach Mike Budenholzer will have no shortage of lineups to configure. While the team’s starting five will surely consist of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez, the fifth spot is currently uncertain and seemingly up for grabs.

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That unknown would revolve around the starting shooting guard slot, which is a hot topic of discussion that dates back to the last offseason where the Bucks attempted to complete a sign-and-trade for guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. Everyone knows how that transpired, but since that fell through, questions have swirled about the future of the position.

With several players on the roster worth consideration at the position, here is the case for each player to start next season.

Could Donte DiVincenzo start at shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks?

What Donte DiVincenzo has working in his favor over any other player on this list is that he started for the Bucks at shooting guard for most of last season.

Up until he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the team’s opening playoff series against the Miami Heat, DiVincenzo was having a career year. In 66 regular season appearances, all starts, the guard averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, which were all career-highs. The biggest jump from the third-year combo guard came in his perimeter shooting, where he shot 37.9 percent on 5.2 attempts per contest, by far the most efficient mark of his young career.

In addition to his improved shooting, two other things that stood out from the 24-year-old as he stepped into that bigger role were his defense and rebounding. The guard gave Milwaukee a solid defender at the guard position next to Holiday, forming a lethal defensive backcourt. His ability to rebound the basketball also stood out as DiVincenzo consistently crashed the glass, keeping plays alive on the offensive end consistently.

Already having that year of starting experience in this lineup under his belt, he seems like the most logical player to claim that starting spot. However, given his unfortunate season-ending injury, the question remains whether or not he will be ready to play by opening night this season. If not, that would obviously mean he would not start. Yet, even if he is healthy, that does not guarantee he will be the starting shooting guard, although his case to retain his spot in the lineup is feasible.