Another young addition for the Milwaukee Bucks is forward Chris Livingston, who was taken with the 58th pick in the NBA draft. He arrives from the Kentucky Wildcats, and there were reports that his agent, Rich Paul, told teams not to take Livingston and canceled workouts, thus falling to the Bucks late on as they looked for pieces to help the future of the team.
Age: 19 (Birthday is October 15)
Position: Small Forward
Weight: 220 lbs
Contract: Four years / $7,639,302
2023-24 Salary: $1,119,563
NBA Experience: N/A
Career college statistics: 6.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, 42.9 percent field goal shooting, 30.5 percent 3-point shooting, 72.2 percent free throw shooting in 22.4 minutes.
Bucks 2023-24 player profile: How will Chris Livingston feature?
Livingston’s deal is the largest ever for the final pick of an NBA draft, but only the first two years are guaranteed so the second-rounder has a chance to prove himself in order to stay in Milwaukee for the long run. They clearly have faith in him as a player and what he can bring to the team.
The front office is clearly invested in building a younger roster as last season’s was one of the oldest in the league. Adding Livingston alongside Andre Jackson Jr. in the draft gives the Bucks great athleticism and energy to hopefully turn into legitimate rotational players in the coming years.
As a fit on the roster, he works well. In the playoffs, the Bucks seriously struggled to stop Jimmy Butler, and the addition of a 6-foot-6 wing who is a very solid defender already is a great asset for the team. He has a big body at 220 lbs, and that size is also what helps him to physically overpower opposition players. He won’t immediately be an elite defender, but alongside Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez, that is some serious defensive prowess the Bucks can run with.
Rebounding is another strength of his that can be really big for the Bucks. Giannis and Lopez of course have been great as a frontcourt, but when they are both out, the team relies on Bobby Portis, who is great on the glass, but another athletic player to assist always helps out. His size and enforcer mentality will help him grab boards, but we may also see a few fouls early on as he tries to impress and show the coaching staff what he can do.
The questions about Livingston are on offense. Averaging just 6.3 points in college wasn’t quite the showcase that people would have liked to see from him. Hitting just 30 percent from three is also not ideal, but the Bucks may not be so reliant on the three-ball this season. However, if he wants to tie down consistent minutes, he will need to work on improving that shot.
Another area he will need to work on is his handles, as he was prone to turning the ball over during college. Granted he won’t be expected to facilitate or see much of the ball in his hands during his time on the court, but being able to keep offensive sets alive and be safe in possession is always an underrated asset for any player, especially rookies coming into the league. Do the basics, and you stand a chance of having a long and successful career.
With every second round pick there will of course be growing pains and frustrating moments, but there is clear talent there with Livingston. Defensively, he can bring a lot to the game and when on the court will be tasked with being physical and disrupting opponents. If he adds a reliable perimeter shot and can shoot around 35 percent, then that will add value for the Bucks, he just can’t be a non-factor on offense if he wants to continue to earn game time.
His role early on will be very small, but if he can translate that stellar defense and rebounding skills to the Association, then it will help both himself and the Bucks. The front office clearly has faith in him, and he can bring real value to the team and potentially work his way into regular time on the court.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis and player profiles for the upcoming NBA season.