Milwaukee Bucks: This was their most underrated move of 2021 offseason

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Despite winning the NBA title, the Milwaukee Bucks did not hesitate to shift around many of the key pieces on their championship roster.

Among the many fresh faces the team has brought aboard, household names like George Hill and Grayson Allen are two that have been discussed the most prominently. Understandably so, as they are both well-known across the league and have a chance to come in and immediately help this Milwaukee team in their chance to repeat as champions next season. Bringing back Bobby Portis on a very team-friendly deal has also dominated the news cycle, and justifiably so as this fanbase rejoiced when they heard he would be returning.

More from Bucks News

It seems like a clear-cut consensus that those three moves were the biggest wins for the Bucks this offseason. Other deals included signing Rodney Hood, handing Thanasis Anteotkounmpo a new deal, and even extending coach Mike Budenholzer.

Looking through every move made by the defending champs, one that has potential to succeed is the signing of Semi Ojeleye to a one-year deal worth the minimum. He is far from a household name, but what he brings could help him fit right in next year.

As it currently stands, Semi Ojeleye was the most underrated signing for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2021 NBA offseason

While players like Hill and Hood have some name recognition attached to them as they head to Milwaukee, Ojeleye is more of an unknown in the NBA. Fans seemingly glossed over the move entirely when the 26-year-old got signed on the opening night of free agency.

That is mainly because he was a second round pick of the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft and has primarily been a bench player for them over the last four seasons. With career averages of 3.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 14.6 minutes per game, the forward is certainly not the most decorated player to step on an NBA floor. Yet, despite his stats not jumping off the page, the four-year veteran has the potential to make an immediate impact with the Bucks.

If Ojeleye will earn his keep in the rotation, he will do it with his sturdy defense, just as he did in his first four seasons with Boston. Per his Basketball-Reference page, Ojeleye’s nicknames consist of “The Man Made of Granite,” “The Ox,” “The Ojeleye Factory,” and several more, indicating one thing: this man is strong. Indeed, he is incredibly brawny, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 240 pounds, and he utilizes that strength on each and every play. Due to his size, Ojeleye was often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s sizeable players, with one notable name worth mentioning being Milwaukee’s own Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Due to how physical things previously got between the two, some even went as far as to call Ojeleye the “Giannis Stopper.” First and foremost, that moniker is certainly questionable, as there truly is not a single human being who can stop the reigning Finals MVP. Nevertheless, Ojeleye’s size and stature on the defensive end made him a solid matchup for Antetokounmpo, and it was always worth watching to see the two go at it in those classic matchups with Boston.

After four years of that, the Bucks will now have the so-called “Giannis Stopper” on their side to bolster their already top-heavy defensive efforts. The forward will fit right in with the Greek Freak, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and the other top-tier defenders on this roster. Coach Budenholzer will certainly find minutes for him as well as the team relies heavily on their approach defensively. Of course, the Bucks will look to fill a massive void defensively left by P.J. Tucker after he left in free agency, and many have already made the comparison between him and Ojeleye.

Ojeleye and Tucker are undoubtedly not on the same tier defensively, with the latter being much more reputable. Still, Ojeleye has a chance to carve out a role immediately due to his defense, and if he can give the team quality minutes because of it, he should have no problem finding time for the defending champions. While he is not the gaudiest player, Ojeleye has a chance to truly shine with the Bucks if he can fortify this defense.

On a minimum deal, this is a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Bucks that has the utmost potential to make waves immediately.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking 3 biggest rivals for the 2021-22 NBA season. dark

Out of all the team’s moves, this appears to be one of the least talked about, but that could change shortly into the 2021-22 season.