New rumor lays groundwork for Milwaukee Bucks guard to earn promotion

Los Angeles Clippers v Milwaukee Bucks
Los Angeles Clippers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Anyone paying attention to the Milwaukee Bucks likely understood that Malik Beasley would almost certainly be a one-year rental.

He took a "prove-it" contract last off-season and showcased that he could perform, proving to be one of the best outside shooters in the NBA. Now, teams are reportedly showing early interest in bringing him in once free agency opens, as The Athletic's Kelly Iko (subscription required) has reported that the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are all interested.

With minimal spending money, the odds of the Milwaukee Bucks keeping Beasley are incredibly slim. If Beasley does walk, one player who could immediately step into his place and earn a promotion is soon-to-be third-year guard A.J. Green. The 24-year-old guard is under contract for next season and could be destined for more regular minutes.

New rumor lays groundwork for Milwaukee Bucks guard to earn promotion

Beasley and Green check off a lot of the same boxes, but they're both primarily known for their sweet 3-point shooting. In fact, among all Milwaukee Bucks to have played in at least five games during the regular season, Beasley (41.3 percent) and Green (40.8 percent) were one and two in terms of 3-point percentage on the roster. These two can flat-out shoot the long ball.

If the Bucks lose one of their best shooters, it would certainly make sense to replace him with... one of the other best shooters on the roster. Green didn't play much this past season outside of occasional spurts, but he constantly showed that he was ready for the moment. They might need him to play a more prominent role from the jump next season.

While his outside shooting is by far his strongest attribute, Green showed signs of strong defensive potential in 2023-24 as well. At 6-foot-4, he's not the big wing the Bucks should be hunting for this off-season, but he's got the build and tools to develop into a quality piece on that side of things. If he can do that in addition to the shooting, it would make him all the more important.

The Bucks have Green under contract for $2.1 million next year, a figure that could very well become a steal if he builds off a potential-filled 2023-24. If the cash-strapped Bucks could get production on a consistent basis from a player on such a team-friendly deal, it could make a world of difference.

This may seem like a lot of praise for a player who averaged 4.5 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 11 minutes per game as a sophomore, sure. However, he's got all of the makings to be in the NBA for a long time. If Beasley leaves Milwaukee and Green moves up in the rotation, he could become one of the team's best modern success stories in recent memory.

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