Milwaukee Bucks: How Grayson Allen may have just won the starting job

Apr 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the biggest questions revolving around the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason has been who will be the team’s starting shooting guard opening night.

While there is an abundance of options to sort through on this revamped roster, the two likeliest candidates to earn the job are Donte DiVincenzo and Grayson Allen. The Bucks fandom has battled back and forth as to which of the two should get the nod, but it appears that a recent injury update for DiVincenzo could put an end to the speculation once and for all.

The Athletic’s David Aldridge (subscription required) rounded up the latest injury updates for various players across the league, and DiVincenzo was included. Aldridge noted that the guard has not yet been cleared to participate in training camp following ankle surgery in June. DiVincenzo tore ligaments in his left ankle during Milwaukee’s first round matchup against the Miami Heat and missed the final three rounds of their title run.

This latest update indicates that DiVincenzo could miss more time as he works his way back into form, which will leave the Bucks without their starting shooting guard from last year. However, that might not spell doom for the team as they have another capable starter on the roster in Allen, who may have just won the job before camp even begins.

Why Grayson Allen will likely start at shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks on opening night of the 2021-22 NBA season

DiVincenzo’s health was likely a factor Jon Horst calculated when he agreed to trade for Allen in a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies this past offseason. Having traded away rookie guard Sam Merrill and two second round picks, this was viewed as a massive win for the Bucks, but the importance of bringing in Allen just increased mightily. Although the Bucks are yet to open camp, Allen seems like the clear-cut next man up to fill in for the recovering DiVincenzo as a starter.

The guard is coming off a career year with Memphis last season, where he started in 38 of his 50 appearances. It was the first time in his career where he saw a prominent role as a starter, and he took advantage by posting 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game, all of which were new career-highs for the third-year guard. While Allen has never been categorized as a dynamic scoring threat, one area where he will help the Bucks is with their 3-point shooting. Allen shot an impressive 39.1 percent from deep last season on 5.5 attempts per game, which will quickly help him carve out a role for himself under head coach Mike Budenholzer. While he does not stand out on the defensive end, Allen will give it his all on that side of the basketball.

While the Bucks are still yet to go through training camp and the preseason before next season is set to kick off, the likelihood of DiVincenzo returning in time is minimal, it seems. Furthermore, this was DiVincenzo’s second season-ending surgery he has undergone throughout his three seasons in the NBA, and the Bucks certainly do not want to rush him back. If he has to sit for an extended period of time, so be it. Health should be the priority here for the 24-year-old. In the event that he has to miss time, the team has a ready-made contributor in Allen that could step in and fill that role from day one.

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Barring some unforeseen change, that seems like a likely scenario as we are just weeks away from the start of the 2021-22 season.