Milwaukee Bucks: Way too early depth chart projection

Sept 20, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports)
Sept 20, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports) /

The NBA Draft has come and gone, free agency starts Thursday night and while we aren’t likely to have a firm idea what the Milwaukee Bucks roster will look like until training camp, we can look at where MarJon Beauchamp fits into the roster and identify which areas the Bucks should look to address during free agency.

Milwaukee Bucks early depth chart: Point Guard

Thankfully the Bucks are set with their starting point guard Jrue Holiday for at least the next two years, potentially three with the player option Holiday has for the 2024-25 season. After Jrue Holiday there is a gigantic question mark of who the Bucks will employ as a primary backup to the All-NBA defending Holiday.

There are a few options, currently signed are George Holiday and Luca Vildoza, the former on the books in 2022-23 for $4 million and the latter who can be released by the end of training camp without impacting the salary cap for this season.

What are the Bucks other options? One that makes sense would be re-signing Jevon Carter, Carter will be just 27 in September and is cut from the same cloth as Jrue Holiday offering solid offense and dogged defense. Carter flourished with the Milwaukee Bucks after being released by the Brooklyn Nets.

Milwaukee Bucks early depth chart: Shooting Guard

For most of the 2021-22 the Milwaukee Bucks starting shooting guard was Grayson Allen, who the Milwaukee Bucks traded Sam Merrill and two second round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for. The move was prompted by the injury to Donte DiVincenzo, who was also traded before the trade deadline last season. The Milwaukee Bucks ended up bringing back Wesley Matthews back and later in the season, while Grayson Allen dealt with a nagging hip injury, Matthews was inserted into the starting lineup. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer opted to stick with the move, keeping Matthews’ defense in the starting lineup and using Allen as a spark plug off the bench, a move that worked very well during the opening round against the Chicago Bulls but fell flat in the second round against the Boston Celtics.

Where do the Bucks stand at shooting guard heading into 2022-23? A little thin. Grayson Allen is returning, behind him there are several question marks, one being does Wesley Matthews get brought back? There is interest there. Other potential options include Pat Connaughton, who at times plays anywhere from the 2, 3 or 4 at times. Currently on the roster are also Rayjon Tucker, Jordan Nwora who has a qualifying offer with the Bucks and the recently signed AJ Green, who is on a two-way contract. Adding another shooting guard seems like another potential priority for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks early depth chart: Small Forward

Another position the Milwaukee Bucks are set at for this season for sure and likely next season, with Khris Middleton the Bucks have an All-Star in the starting lineup with a player option it’s hard to imagine he declines next summer unless to sign a longer term contract with the Bucks.

Behind the starter Middleton are a couple names mentioned at shooting guard, Pat Connaughton, Jordan Nwora if he signs his qualifying offer, and the newly drafted MarJon Beauchamp. Small forward may be one of the Bucks more set positions. However, should the opportunity arise to add talent or defense to the position, don’t rule it out from Jon Horst. Mike Budenholzer could always use guys like Pat and Jordan at other positions.

Milwaukee Bucks early depth chart: Power Forward

Power forward is what I would describe as the Bucks position of least worry. The Bucks are set for a long time at power forward with a former and possibly future MVP roaming the floor, doing incredible things on both ends, Giannis Antetokounmpo. No doubt after his fourth consecutive unanimous First Team All-NBA selection that Giannis will be starting for the Bucks.

Who will play the power forward position while Giannis is resting or potentially while he plays the center position in certain lineups? I did mention before that at very select times, Pat Connaughton slides to the “power forward”, as does Khris Middleton in lineups with an extra guard on the court. Other options would include Bobby Portis, who is expected around the league to remain with the Bucks going forward. Pun Intended. While Portis did play a ton of center last season filling in for Brook Lopez, Portis thrives being on the perimeter taking advantage of open 3-pointers and by swooping in for offensive rebounds.

Last on the depth chart at power forward is Thanasis Antetokounmpo who has been with the Bucks for several seasons and is the leader of the Bucks bench mob and his brother’s main hype man.

Milwaukee Bucks early depth chart: Center

While the Bucks are in a decent place at center on paper, ignoring the future for the present isn’t something front offices have the luxury of in any sport if the team wants to be a contender and remain a contender. While the Bucks currently have Brook Lopez signed through the 2022-23 season, the 35 year old will be a free agent next summer.

Behind Brook Lopez is the aforementioned Bobby Portis, who isn’t officially back with the Bucks yet, and last year’s second round draft pick Sandro Mamukelashvili who is on a two-way contract with the Wisconsin Herd. While Sandro shows a lot of potential and versatility and likely has another season of improvement ahead of him, it’s hard to picture a scenario where he is the Milwaukee Bucks starting center next year.

If Bobby Portis is re-signed that would go a long way in ensuring the Bucks have a starting center rostered, after Bobby started nearly the entire season at the position, however if that’s the case the Bucks would likely need to add another big man to back up Portis and Giannis. So adding another big man may still be a priority for the Bucks in free agency.

The Milwaukee Bucks roster as it stands is solid, having two All-Stars, several All-NBA defenders and an MVP in the starting lineup and several key role players the Milwaukee Bucks will be title contenders once again. However, trust that General Manager Jon Horst will look to upgrade the roster in any way he can.

Next. 5 offseason needs for the Milwaukee Bucks following 2022 NBA Draft. dark

Free agency opens at 5 PM on Thursday evening, stay tuned to see what the Milwaukee Bucks do.