3 ways Joe Ingles can help the Milwaukee Bucks next season

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 12: (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 12: (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz: Joe Ingles
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – NOVEMBER 29 (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off NBA free agency by signing Joe Ingles to a one-year deal worth $6.3 million.

On the surface, it is a fascinating move. When healthy, Ingles is one of the best bench players in the business, having finished as the runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award during the 2020-21 season. However, Ingles is currently not healthy, as the veteran forward suffered a devastating ACL injury last season that cut his 2021-22 campaign short. Due to the injury, Ingles will miss a sizeable chunk of next season as well, which makes this move somewhat of a gamble on Milwaukee’s end, given how much they paid to bring him aboard. Still, despite the ACL surgery, this move has the potential to help the Bucks in a big way during the 2023-23 season, and let us look at three reasons why.

No. 1 – Joe Ingles can give the Milwaukee Bucks more facilitating off the bench

Throughout his eight-year career, Joe Ingles has mainly been known for his perimeter shooting, and understandably so, as he has been an outstanding shooter. However, Ingles’ elite shooting ability has made his facilitating and playmaking an underrated aspect of what he brings to the table on a nightly basis. Once the 34-year-old is back on the floor, the Milwaukee Bucks should look to utilize that ball-handling ability by Ingles, as it could help them out tremendously.

For his career, Ingles has averaged 3.8 assists per game, including 4.9 on average over the past five years due to an increased role with the Utah Jazz. Rather than just simply being used as an outside shooter to glue on the perimeter, Ingles can take on the challenge of ball-handling when he is asked to do so, which will alleviate pressure off Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the team’s other orchestrators offensively. It was clear after the Bucks’ second round loss to the Boston Celtics that the team could have benefitted from having another reliable ball-handler and passer in the second unit, which Ingles will immediately help with.

Despite his phenomenal outside shooting, Ingles himself is on the record stating that he believes his best attribute is his passing ability. Per Sarah Todd of Desert News, Ingles detailed his love for passing the basketball to the media following a six-assist effort last November.

"“Regardless of what I shoot or how I defend, I think my best attribute is my ability to get my teammates involved,” he said after the game. “The most enjoyment and the best thing I can do is the little things to help those other guys.”"

With teammates like Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and the other pieces on this roster, Ingles should only continue to thrive as a passer.