Updated wing rotation for the Milwaukee Bucks with DeAndre’ Bembry

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08: (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08: (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

It’s pretty nuts what one potential signing can do for the depth of a position group. The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly close to signing DeAndre’ Bembry after he was cut by the Brooklyn Nets and they desperately needed some more wing depth.

After moving three wings at the trade deadline, they were already a bit thin and could have used an extra body. That got even worse when Pat Connaughton broke his finger and left the Bucks with Wesley Matthews and Jordan Nwora to cover behind Khris Middleton and Grayson Allen.

Bembry isn’t perfect by any means, but he’ll provide a big lift in filling in for Connaughton while he’s out. So what will the rotation look like in the meantime and, more importantly, what will it look like when Connaughton returns?

Milwaukee Bucks updated wing rotation with DeAndre’ Bembry

If we’re being honest, the Bucks are still pretty thin on the wing at the moment, even with a potential Bembry addition.

Obviously, Middleton and Allen are the starters, that won’t change for the rest of the season. Allen has been a fantastic floor-spacer with the starters, even if he’s still trying to find his place when the big three play together. Middleton is, well, Middleton.

Connaughton was the de-facto sixth man, especially without George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo, but that has flipped things. The first player off the bench will likely be Serge Ibaka now, but the first wing off the bench will be a different question.

In a normal, everyone is shooting around their career averages, world I’d assume Matthews would be the first wing off the bench. Head coach Mike Budenholzer trusts him and he knows what the Bucks want to run at both ends.

Things don’t get to be normal for any team in the National Basketball Association, however!

Matthews is shooting 17 percent on nearly three attempts from 3 in his last 13 games and oh my goodness things need to turn for him quickly. He’s a great defender still, but if he’s not hitting his 3s then there’s very little chance he sees any playoff minutes.

Bembry is in a similar situation, but he shouldn’t be expected to be a good shooter. Before this season, he was a 27 percent shooter from 3 on low volume. He’s having a random hot season from deep but that’s the exception to the rule.

Listen, if Bembry can keep this up then he’ll be a huge buyout add for the Bucks, but we have to keep his career average in mind. Still, he can be a nice piece at both ends for the defending champs.

Unlike Matthews, he can still do things offensively if he can’t shoot. He’s been great at crashing the glass and finishing at the rim in his career, so a role in the dunker spot and standing in the corner (*cough* P.J. Tucker *cough*) makes sense.

Nwora won’t be the first wing off the bench, but as the last remaining survivor on Nwora Island, I’d like to hope that adding Bembry doesn’t send him back into the Budenholzer Shadow Realm. Matthews and Bembry aren’t anything special on offense and for all of Nwora’s defensive miscues, you have to live with it from a young player.

He has a ways to go at both ends, but you can’t really turn your nose up at any wing or forward help if you’re the Milwaukee Bucks at this point.

Anyway, between Matthews and Bembry, I’ll defer to the guy with more familiarity in the Bucks’ system in Matthews. It would be nice to have Hill or another guard available to play behind Allen, but for now, Matthews is the best fit of the reserve wings to play the two and maintain some floor spacing.

If they’re going with a Giannis-at-center lineup, though, I’d like to see Bembry come in as the nominal four around Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and either Allen or Matthews, depending on if they need more shooting or defense.

Bembry’s experience this season as a four gives the Bucks a ton of flexibility to use their wings in a variety of ways while Connaughton is out. When he’s back, I don’t know if we’ll see either Matthews or Bembry that much, especially in the playoffs.

There will be matchups or situations where they’ll be useful, for sure, but they won’t be regular rotation players like Connaughton or Ibaka off the bench.

However, with many games left post-All-Star break, there’s an opportunity for those two (and Nwora, I suppose) to earn a spot as a rotation regular. I wouldn’t bet on it as being likely, though.

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Bembry’s addition gives the Bucks a lot of diversity in the types of lineups that Budenholzer can go to and another solid wing defender along with Matthews.