Why the Bucks need to go all-in on player development next season
MarJon Beauchamp, for obvious reasons, is the first place to look. The 24th pick in last year’s draft had himself a relatively solid rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks, showing flashes of potential on both ends of the floor. He averaged 4.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 17.2 minutes per game — a number that belies the number of opportunities he actually got.
Beauchamp is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. He has good athleticism and length, and he is a capable ball-handler and passer. He also has a good (if not a little clunky) 3-point stroke, shooting 33.1 percent from beyond the arc in his rookie season.
Beauchamp has shown that he can be a good shooter from beyond the arc, and he also has the athleticism and length to defend multiple positions. He could be a valuable asset to the Bucks’ starting lineup or their second unit as a 3-and-D wing. He’s also a high-energy player who brings a lot of hustle and effort to the court. He could be a valuable asset to the Bucks off the bench, providing a spark on both ends of the floor.
In his sophomore season, Beauchamp could have a larger role with the Bucks. He could be a key contributor off the bench, providing energy and defense. He could also start at small forward if Khris Middleton is injured or traded.
No matter what role Beauchamp plays for the Bucks next season, he is a player to watch. If he continues to work hard and improve, he has the potential to be a very good player in the NBA, and he could be a key part of the Bucks’ future success.
A.J. Green has also shown he can be a knockdown shooter from deep for the Bucks. In his first season with the team, the former Northern Iowa Panther scored 4.4 points per game in just ten minutes a night in 35 games. He also shot an impressive 42 percent from 3-point range as a rookie.
It’s an understatement to say Green has been prolific from the 3-point line. He’s made a living knocking down shots from deep dating back to his college years, but the looks he got playing alongside Antetokounmpo really demonstrated just how good of a long-range bomber he is. According to regular season tracking data courtesy of NBA.com/stats, Green converted on a searing 17-of-26 on triples that were considered “wide open,” a number that’s good for 65.4 percent of his attempts.
In short, if he’s open, it’s a safe bet the ball is going through the basket.
As a result, the threat of his shooting makes the team better. The advanced stats back this up, too. According to PBP Stats, the Bucks as a team shot better from deep with Green on the floor (40.1 percent) than in the minutes he was off the bench (36.4 percent).
It’s certainly a limited sample size, but it’s not too far a reach to say he could even be one of the best shooters on a Bucks squad that already has Khris Middleton and Grayson Allen. Considering the team’s history of going cold from distance in the playoffs, they can really never have too many shooters. This kind of player archetype always seems to thrive once paired with the inward gravity of Antetokounmpo — just ask Bryn Forbes. If the Bucks can continue to get solid production from Green going forward, it can only mean good things for the team as a whole.
Moving forward, he could also work on hiding his deficiencies on the defensive end. He could also work on adding more versatility to his shot diet. Just look at the work Grayson Allen did to round out his arsenal by working on his driving and at-the-rim finishing.
Despite the recent heartbreak against the Miami Heat, make no mistake, the Bucks are still very much a team that is looking to contend for a championship. With a generational talent like Antetokounmpo, anything less than swinging for the fences every season is a mistake. They have a strong core of players, but they need to add some young talent to their roster.
Beauchamp and Green are still very young players, so they will need time to develop their games. But they’ve never been lacking in effort or potential, and there’s no doubt they could be key pieces for the Milwaukee Bucks in the future. After all, their asset situation and lack of youth necessitate growth at their position.