Milwaukee Bucks: 3 options worth considering for 2021-22 starting unit

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics: Semi Ojeleye
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Following their title-winning season, the Milwaukee Bucks had a quietly successful offseason by most standards.

While there were not many seismic moves made, they made a few smaller moves here and there to patch up some of their biggest holes through free agency and trade. Among the faces, both new and old, head coach Mike Budenholzer will have to sort through all the abundance of talent on this roster to try and piece together a rotation for next season, a problem any championship-winning coach loves to have.

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When it comes to the starting five, there is no controversy for the most part when it comes to who will find themselves out on the floor to begin the game. The Bucks have four players guaranteed to start next season with no competition, but that fifth spot is still up for grabs.

Who could earn their place in the lineup has been one of the burning discussion points among the fanbase this offseason, and here are three options for coach Bud to consider leading up to the new season.

Option 1 for Milwaukee Bucks’ 2021-22 starting 5 – Holiday, Middleton, Ojeleye, Antetokounmpo, Lopez

This hypothetical starting five seems like the least likely for the Bucks, but it is once worth considering for the team for one reason, that being the defense.

The Bucks signed Semi Ojeleye to a minimum deal this past offseason, and while many glossed over the move, he has the potential to be a great addition. Ojeleye’s strongest attribute has always been his defense, as his hulking stature at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds allows him to guard sizeable opponents, including Giannis Antetokounpo. When the Bucks would square off against Ojeleye’s former team in the Boston Celtics, it was often the brawny Ojeleye that would be tasked with guarding the Greek Freak.

Due to his defensive excellence and strong stature, comparisons to P.J. Tucker immediately started to surface. Tucker was the team’s starting small forward for the latter three rounds of the team’s postseason run, giving the team another well-defined defender in the starting five to complement names like Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. While Ojeleye is not the defender that Tucker is, he should be a solid player to try and replicate that presence on that side of the ball. Defense will be his calling card, but the forward has proven to be a serviceable shooter over the past two years also by hitting 37.2 percent of his triples, making his fit all the better.

Putting Ojeleye in the starting five would mean sliding Khris Middleton into the starting shooting guard spot to form a backcourt with Jrue Holiday, which was what they did in the title run. A unit of Holiday, Middleton, Ojeleye, Antetokounmpo, and Lopez has the potential to be formidable on the defensive end, and it is for that reason that Budenholzer could at least give it some thought.