Milwaukee Bucks: 3 intriguing 2021 training camp battles to watch

Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Everyone loves a good competition, which is what fans will be getting when the Milwaukee Bucks begin training camp in the coming weeks.

After a wildly busy offseason following their title-winning campaign, the Bucks have constructed a roster filled with returning players and a handful of fresh faces. This retooled roster poses some questions for the new-look Bucks heading into 2021-22 training camp, particularly how coach Mike Budenholzer will look to utilize all the talent at his disposal. There are obviously not enough minutes to go around for everyone, so perhaps this could spark some competition in camp for the Bucks as the players look to make their case to earn steady minutes.

While we outsiders will not get to see these potential competitions in full, there are sure to be some fireworks behind closed doors. With that being said, here are three players that could go head-to-head in 2021 training camp with the Bucks as they look to carve out a role in the new rotation.

2021 Milwaukee Bucks training camp battle: Thanasis Antetokounmpo vs. Semi Ojeleye

This is an interesting battle because it might seem rather lopsided at first, but it could possibly be something worth monitoring. The Bucks brought in Semi Ojeleye during free agency to shore up their defense in the wake of P.J. Tucker’s departure, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo is more known for his role as the team’s hype man on the bench.

On paper, Ojeleye is seemingly the clear-cut favorite to earn minutes in a backup forward role to give the team a defensive boost. However, Bucks fans will certainly remember the Torrey Craig saga from last year and how that controversial signing came to an end. Craig came over in the offseason and seemed like a perfect rotational piece for the Bucks, but despite his experience and defensive stature, Antetokounmpo often saw time ahead of him in the rotation.

While injuries early on played a factor in that, Antetokounmpo is someone that the Bucks do feel like he can help the team, as evidenced by his role increase this past season. The energizer played a career-high 551 minutes during the regular season, giving the team a boost off the bench with his hustle, defense, and rebounding. After bringing him back on a two-year deal in the offseason, the team will certainly like to utilize him in the rotation to some extent moving forward.

Perhaps these two could have some interesting battles in camp. Ojeleye seems like the favorite to earn steady minutes next season, but Antetokounmpo will give it his all to prove the same.