"Youth movement" is a pretty catchy phrase for rebuilding NBA teams. It got tossed around a fair amount in Bucks-centric chatter last season. But "movement" in this context isn't usually synonymous with "exodus," which is what we seem to have going on here.
The ages of the players now identified as the four least-valuable members of the Milwaukee Bucks' 2015 roster are as follows: 22, 21, 20, 27. The last member of that foursome is the latest to go: three-year veteran center Miles Plumlee. 27 might not exactly qualify him as a "young" player as we typically consider them, but he's certainly not washed up.
In response to Damien Inglis getting the heave-ho last time, I suggested Bucks fandom has abandoned the rebuilding mindset faster than we expected. Milwaukee is just one summer removed from a complete tear-down, and now it seems a sizable portion of the fanbase is ready to shift gears from asset accumulation and internal growth to "get it while the getting's good."
Not entirely, of course. It's more nuanced than that. It has to be. But the guys we've said goodbye to so far in our rankings are the sort of players you generally want to hold onto while you figure out the rest of the team. I'll admit, these bottom-rung players might not even matter in a team-building exercise like this, regardless of where you are in the process. And what's more, the Bucks' roster isn't as "flat" as it used to be. The disparity between the best and worst players has widened considerably. Elite teams don't much care about who's killing time this deep on the roster. The question I keep asking is, have the Bucks earned that luxury yet?
Do the Bucks have the rest of their team figured out? If it wasn't for an injury or what-not, would they have a locked-in starting lineup? One they could bank on for the next two or three seasons? I suppose it's easier to throw away a lottery ticket when you think you've got a big promotion coming your way soon.
Milwaukee Bucks 2015 Roster Rankings
15. Johnny O'Bryant
14. Tyler Ennis
13. Damien Inglis
12. Miles Plumlee
Cast your vote for the next guy off Bucks Island below. Remember -- production, potential and salary all matter, though you can weigh them however much or little you like. Here's the Bucks' updated cap situation as a refresher: