Overall thoughts on the Milwaukee Bucks roster changes
It’s hard to dislike what General Manager Jon Horst and the Milwaukee Bucks did this off-season.
Above all else, they added a superstar talent in Damian Lillard to pair alongside a strong core of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez. Lillard raises the floor of this team on the offensive end mightily, which is something this team has lacked in recent memory. It doesn’t hurt to show Giannis how committed this team is to winning by trading for a superstar either.
Holiday will be missed, and it stings that he ultimately landed with the Boston Celtics, but there was a golden opportunity for the Bucks to land another superstar, so they took it. The verdict is still out on whether or not the team can replace Holiday’s defensive stature, but there’s no doubt that they raised their ceiling on the offensive end.
Sticking with point guards, Payne is a nice pickup, especially this late in the off-season. He was arguably the best name out on the market, and he fills a big position of need. With Jevon Carter gone, Payne will instantly slide into that role. Carter might be the better defender, but Payne is more of a pure point guard with his facilitating prowess, and he can also score and shoot well.
Beasley is a nice get for a team that has had trouble with its shooting guard rotation over these last few seasons. Whether he starts or comes off of the bench, the guard can be an impact piece on a nightly basis due to his marksmanship. He has a chance to play a major role and cash out on a new deal next off-season if he lives up to or exceeds expectations.
Lastly, the wing rotation will be extremely interesting. The Bucks, who were the oldest team in the league last season, parted with two experienced vets in Matthews and Ingles and opted to go with younger guys in Jackson and Livingston. Though they are inexperienced, they do bring much more athleticism, which the other two lacked; that proved to be a problem, especially in the playoffs.
Coaching is a major question mark at this point, as Milwaukee parted with a championship coach with no shortage of experience for a first-time leader. Despite Budenholzer’s tremendous resume, it was time for the Bucks to get a new leader in the locker room, and, thus far, Griffin has seemed fit for the job. His status as a former player seems to be helping mightily in that regard.
There may be some growing pains with Griffin, but he’s got an incredibly talented roster and staff to work with who can help him through it nightly.
Considering the team entered the off-season with one tradeable first rounder and very few dollars to spend in NBA Free Agency, management did quite well with going through some huge changes. Did the Milwaukee Bucks get better? On paper, it certainly appears to be that way.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis and roster breakdowns.