Milwaukee Bucks: 3 players in need of a career resurgence in 2021-22

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, George Hill
Apr 22, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

As there are with most things in life, there’s are benefits and drawbacks. In the case of the Milwaukee Bucks, there are pros and cons to signing players on cheap, one-year contracts.

The benefit is that you’re getting players who can fit snugly under the cap and still allow you to keep your best and highest-paid players. The drawback is that those players have flaws that made them available for such a cheap cost. Sometimes these players are older, sometimes they have a significant flaw in their game, or sometimes they’ve dealt with injuries. If these sound familiar, it’s because the Bucks have acquired players that fit each one of the aforementioned flaws.

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This is not unfamiliar territory for the Bucks, especially recently. As a team that’s competing for a championship, players will oftentimes take less money to come to your team and try to win a championship.

One of the more prominent success stories from a couple of years ago was Wesley Matthews, who started all 67 games that he played in and averaged over 24 minutes per game at age 33 in the 2019-20 season.

There is no bigger success story for a player having a career resurgence with the Bucks than Bobby Portis. As he has noted previously, Portis took less money to come to the Bucks and try to win a championship. What followed was not only a championship but perhaps Portis’ best overall individual season as a professional.

One could even argue that Brook Lopez had a career resurgence after signing a cheap, one-year deal to come to Milwaukee and then turning himself into a completely new player.

There are three potential candidates to have a career resurgence with the Bucks, similar to how Matthews and Portis did in years past. If one (or more) of these guys can hit, that’s certainly a win for the Bucks at their cost.

George Hill can have a career resurgence with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

If I told you at the end of the Bucks’ 2019-20 season that George Hill would need to have a career resurgence only two years later, you’d probably have a few questions for me. Notably, what went so incredibly wrong in 2020-21 that he’d need to have a career resurgence.

Then if you looked at how he began the season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, you’d have even more questions. Hill put up just under 11.8 points and 3.1 assists in 14 games with the Thunder, including a 63 percent true shooting percentage, which would easily be his career-high. However, Hill suffered an injury to his thumb and had to undergo surgery which was expected to put him out of action for at least four weeks. His final game with the Thunder was on January 24th, and he didn’t play again until after he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on April 19th.

The long layoff between games, as well as the recovery from surgery, undoubtedly had an effect on Hill’s performance with the Sixers, where he posted just six points and 1.9 assists per game in 16 games. His true shooting percentage was 54.5 percent, which would be the second-worst of his career, and his turnover rate (17.8 percent) would be easily the worst of his career.

At 35 years old, the hope is that this is just a blip for Hill and not the start of a decline as he returns to Milwaukee. Maybe some familiar surroundings will be what he needs to get back on track and help him hit his goals for 2021-22.