3 Milwaukee Bucks whose stocks are soaring, 3 that are fading fast

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 08 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 08 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Malik Beasley
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 20 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

MarJon Beauchamp’s stock is soaring

Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks deployed Jrue Holiday, Jevon Carter and Wesley Matthews in the backcourt, giving them one of the best collections of guard defenders and setting the tone for one of the league’s best defenses at the point of attack.

This season the Bucks are sending out Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley and Cameron Payne, a marked step down defensively. That has meant pressing MarJon Beauchamp into service in his second season. Beauchamp is still a raw player but he has stepped up and had a positive impact when on the court.

The 6’6″ wing has shot 47.4 percent on his 3-pointers thus far, shooting 5.8 3-pointers per 36 minutes and then hitting 66.7 percent of his 2-pointers. He’s been the Bucks’ best perimeter defender and the team has been 8.8 points per 100 possessions better with Beauchamp in the game (per Cleaning the Glass). He still has a lot of room to develop, but he’s always able to step onto the court and help the Bucks win.

Malik Beasley’s stock is fading fast

On the other side of the plus/minus ledger is Malik Beasley. The Bucks signed the sharpshooter this summer to a minimum contract, a chance for Beasley to recoup his value after a poor end to the season with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. It looked like one of the best bargains of the summer and a way for the Bucks to juice their shooting.

Unfortunately, thus far the Beasley signing has been something of a disaster. Beasley has the second-worst plus-minus on the team (-53 for the season), and while the Bucks have been worse on defense when he plays, the true disaster has been on offense. The Bucks are a staggeringly bad 18.1 points per 100 possessions worse when Beasley plays than when he’s off the court.

Beasley himself is shooting a strong 42.5 percent from 3-point range but isn’t being utilized very often, which means his gravity isn’t leveraging court space for his teammates and he is only hitting two 3-pointers per game; his usage rate of 13.8 percent is one of the lowest of his career and just 10th on the Bucks. If the Bucks are going to play Beasley they should probably feed him more shots; otherwise, he’s not worth the defensive sacrifice.