Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing each position heading into 2021-22 season

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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing each position heading into 2021-22 season – Forwards

2020-2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo, P.J. Tucker, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Mamadi Diakite.

2021-2022: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Semi Ojeleye, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Javin DeLaurier.

Off-season additions: Signed Semi Ojeleye – One year, $1.8 million, Re-signed Thanasis Antetokounmpo (two years, player option in year two), drafted Sandro Mamukelashvili in second round, signed Johnny O’Brant to camp deal

Departures: P.J. Tucker, Mamadi Diakite.

Losing P.J. Tucker was about more than an on-court contribution. He brought toughness and identity to the Bucks defense that helped establish a culture the team bought into. Financially his return didn’t make sense for the Bucks given the luxury tax concerns. His defensive versatility will be sorely missed, but he’ll always be remembered for his contributions in Milwaukee.

Semi Ojeleye was assuredly brought in to play a lesser version of Tucker’s role for the Bucks. Make no mistake about it, no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it, Ojeleye is a poor man’s version of Tucker. I would expect him to play far fewer minutes, but he does provide defensive versatility that the Bucks covet – and is a decent spot-up shooter from deep. There is some untapped potential here and ultimately this is a good signing with no risk involved given the price they were able to get him at. Just don’t go expecting him to get a Tucker-type impact from him, because you’ll assuredly be disappointed.

There was only so much the Bucks could do here with the financial restraints they were up against. Ojeleye was a creative pickup, but overall the forward depth took a hit. Look for Milwaukee to leave no stone left unturned on the trade market to improve this critical spot in the rotation. Worst case scenario the Bucks may be able to fill this void via the buyout market if they can wait that long.

Despite having the reigning Finals MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the charge, the depth behind him could be concerning.

Verdict – Got worse