After serving as an important cog defensively for the Milwaukee Bucks over the last two seasons, Wesley Matthews will not be back next season.`
The veteran guard has reportedly inked a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks, leaving behind some question marks in Milwaukee as it pertains to the wing rotation. Someone will have to step up as Milwaukee’s primary wing defender night in and night out, and there are several players on this roster who fit with billing. With that said, let us look at four key Milwaukee Bucks.
4 Milwaukee Bucks who can fill Wesley Matthews’ shoes in 2023-24: Andre Jackson Jr.
The Bucks clearly liked what they saw in Andre Jackson Jr. leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, given that they traded up to get him in the second round. Their interest was justified; he’s an incredibly interesting wing who had an impressive three-year stint at UConn. It seems like the Bucks will be relying on youth quite a bit next season, and Jackson has the tools to make a name for himself.
While he’s certainly not as savvy or experienced as Matthews, Jackson has the tools to be a quality defender next season. He’s a 6-foot-6 wing who is extremely athletic and quick, both of which the youngster utilized in his relentless on-ball defense in college. As solid as he was, Matthews lacked both of those things at this stage of his career to a degree, and understandably so at 36 years old.
It’ll take time for him to perfect these skills at the next level, but under Adrian Griffin’s guidance, Jackson has the potential to become a critical piece defensively for the Milwaukee Bucks.