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: Brook Lopez, Semi Ojeleye
Dec 21, 2018; Boston, MA, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Semi Ojeleye can have a career resurgence with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

While Hill takes some of the “older player coming to a winning team” role that Matthews filled in his resurgence, Semi Ojeleye is more in the mold of Portis’ resurgence. This isn’t to say that Ojeleye was as good as Portis was prior to coming to the Bucks, but in terms of age, there are similarities.

Portis played his age-25 season with the Bucks, one of his prime-age seasons. It’s not as if he was a 10-year journeyman, and the same can be said for Ojeleye, who comes in at 26 years old. It’s weird to think that Ojeleye is slightly older than Portis, but there’s still reason to believe that Ojeleye can find his niche while he’s still in his prime years.

Ojeleye quickly earned a role in his rookie season with the Boston Celtics by playing nearly 16 minutes a night over 73 games. That role diminished the following two seasons as Ojeleye averaged under 13 minutes across 125 games played. He did see a career-high 17 minutes per game last season, and it’s something to build on as he comes to Milwaukee. He’ll have a chance right away to earn a role on the Bucks as someone who can play in a small-ball lineup next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, similar to P.J. Tucker.

The key for Ojeleye in keeping his role with the Bucks — and keeping his career afloat — will be knocking down 3-point shots. While he will certainly have a big role on defense, all the Bucks will ask of Ojeleye on offense is to hit open triples and crash the offensive glass when the opportunity presents itself.

It’s not often that a player needs a big career resurgence at 26 years old, but it happened incredibly well for Portis, and it could happen for Ojeleye on the same team, especially if he nails his goals for the season.