Milwaukee Bucks Starting 5: Locks, fringe, and break-ins for 2021-22

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 20 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 20 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 11 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

While there is still plenty of offseason left to go, the Milwaukee Bucks are likely done making any seismic moves for the time being.

They were rather busy during the first few days of free agency with a slew of moves that included re-signing Bobby Portis, singing George Hill, bringing in Semi Ojeleye, and drafting two interesting players in Sandro Mamukelashvili and Giorgos Kalaitzakis in the 2021 NBA Draft. It looks like the only thing left on their to-do list is to re-sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo, but that seems uncertain at this point in time.

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With a handful of fresh faces in the fold, the biggest question remaining is just how head coach Mike Budenholzer will look to piece together his rotations coming off a title-winning campaign, particularly in the starting lineup.

With all that being said, let us take a closer look at which players are guaranteed to be in the starting five for the Bucks next year and some other potential candidates that could sneak in there at some point.

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup: Who are the locks to start?

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Although he jokingly stated after Milwaukee’s title-clinching Game 6 that he would embrace a bench role down the line so he could add Sixth Man of the Year honors to his impressive résumé, Giannis Antetokounmpo will certainly be in the starting five next season. The reigning Finals MVP is coming off one of the most dominant postseason runs the world has ever seen, and he will undoubtedly be anxious to get back into the swing of things next season to make a run at another title.

Khris Middleton

No competition here whatsoever either. After years of being bombarded with criticism for not living up to being the second option on a championship-caliber team, Khris Middleton finally silenced the doubters with a masterful playoff run. The recently turned 30-year-old is currently getting some much-needed rest following after winning an NBA title, an Olympic gold medal, and fathering a new child, all within the past month or so. The only question persisting is whether he will start at shooting guard or small forward, but Middleton will be a key contributor to the team’s success next season regardless.

Jrue Holiday

Although it was a bumpy ride at times, Jrue Holiday’s first season with the Bucks could not have been scripted better. The 31-year-old made no bones about it that he wanted to win once he got to Milwaukee via a blockbuster trade last offseason, which is precisely what he did. He was truly the missing piece for them on both ends of the floor, and no player on this roster will give him a run for his money at the starting point guard spot. Also, he has the third-highest salary on this roster after inking a four-year extension that could be worth up to $160 million. After this playoff run, he is undeniably deserving of his spot in the lineup and the cash.

Brook Lopez

The last lock in the starting five is Brook Lopez, Milwaukee’s man in the middle. There really is no contest here, as Bobby Portis would be the team’s only other reliable option, but the big man has carved out a role for himself off the bench. Lopez has been the perfect complementary center for this Bucks team with his versatile scoring that includes stretching the floor but also putting the ball on the court and driving to the hoop with authority. Tie that in with how important he is to the team defensively, and there is no doubt that he will retain his starting spot next season.