Straight to the point on this round: John Henson is the next player voted out in our countdown of the Milwaukee Bucks' most valuable players for 2015. Only the five presumptive starters (Jabari Parker's health notwithstanding) remain.
I skip the flowery language and mildly-sarcastic quips in this case because I think we've reached an interesting benchmark in our endeavor. That is, I think it's notable that a team so recently removed from a ground-floor rebuild is now judged, albeit by its own fans, to have organized a starting lineup composed entirely of its most-valuable players.
Is that common? It would certainly seem so for championship-caliber teams gunning for success in the here-and-now. For those teams, value is almost entirely wrapped up in a player's ability to contribute right this minute. But what about for a rising team like Milwaukee? Or a team still grasping at the bottom rungs, like Sacramento or Orlando?
I think it's notable that the Bucks have, in relatively short order, identified a group of five players that fills out a starting lineup for the immediate season, and that, from the perspective of our little subset of the fansbase at least, constitutes the most important players for the future of the organization as well. I think back to John Hammond's team-building mantra: "Draft for talent, trade for need." In essence, this approach advocates for for maximizing the utility of events like the draft by looking to increase the team's overall talent level as much as possible, and then "balancing" that talent level through, for example, trades. In at least one sense, well, mission accomplished.
Now, the underlying question--really the only one that matters--remains whether that overall talent level is high enough to bring Milwaukee back into relevance, and ultimately prominence. But if the process is valid, it has to be at least a little encouraging that the end result already seems to be realized.
Now all that's left is to figure out which guy is the capstone on the pyramid.
Milwaukee Bucks 2015 Roster Rankings
15. Johnny O'Bryant
14. Tyler Ennis
13. Damien Inglis
12. Miles Plumlee
11. Chris Copeland
10. Jerryd Bayless
9. O.J. Mayo
8. Greivis Vasquez
7. Rashad Vaughn
6. John Henson
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: