Well we’re finally getting down to the meat of this team’s roster now, as evidenced by our not unintentional flipping of the poll wording to now illustrate “most valuable” as opposed to “least valuable.” Unfortunately, Mirza Teletovic seems to have taken home the title of “most least valuable” if that makes any sense as the readers voted him number 11 in our roster ranking.
Mirza Teletovic is a rather divisive player and an intriguing test case when it comes to stats versus the eye tests. By most team-wide metrics, he was an absolute net-positive for the Bucks. He tied with Greg Monroe for the third-best net rating on the team (3.4) and finished the season fifth-best in terms of plus-minus at +74 for the whole season. Now, the fact both Jason Terry and Greg Monroe also ranked among lofty company in those statistics doesn’t necessarily illustrate that this is the best barometer for a player, but there’s plenty to be said for a player somehow contributing to a team winning during their minutes on the court.
Now, before anyone levels the “that’s because he was just playing with Giannis all the time argument,” which I’m sure many of you do know is false, Mirza played 43.4% of his minutes with Giannis and they were a +69 in those minutes over the course of the season. His most-common court partner was Malcolm Brogdon, a duo who were +107 over the course of the year. Put what stock you want to in those two-man lineups, but his success with Giannis, and just common sense, seems to illustrate he should play more with him next year. Zooming out further, half of Milwaukee’s six best 5-man lineups in terms of plus-minus also feature Teletovic.
I’m certainly not discounting his deficiencies as an individual player though. His shot was wildly inconsistent last year, ending the year at just 34.1%, the second-worst mark of his career despite posting the highest 3-point attempt rate since he entered the league. Still, opponents respected the gravity Telly brought to the court by virtue of his mindless propensity to shoot and pedigree as a shooter. One slightly lower year won’t alter that perception and I’m someone who thinks that 3-point percentage will tick up this year closer to his career average of 36.7%. He had a tendency to get blinders when driving the ball last year and I also believe that any announcer ever saying “Mirza takes it to the rack” should be enough for the fans to politely request a Telly benching break.
Not to mention his inadequacy as a defender, with clompy feet not built to handle swift fours and not enough girth to handle meaty forwards, Teletovic is a tweener defender without any appreciable skills to make up for those issues. Still, his primary job is just to stay in position with Milwaukee’s defense and he absolutely isn’t guilty of any freelancing. Placing him in more lineups with Giannis would once again behoove him given the potential need for more rim protection behind him. There’s also the matter of his $10 million dollar contract, which I’m sure people think is way out of whack with his production.
Yes, $10 million is a lot, particularly in the now depreciated market, but I still think he’s one of the more tradeable pieces the Bucks have. He’s half as much as Ryan Anderson with just one year left on his contract. In terms of a pure asset, I think he might be more valuable than a few guys still left on this list, but that’s for the masses, not me, to decide. And so we continue on with our exercise in pursuit of our 10th most valuable Buck on the roster. We’ll be taking a break Sunday and Monday to bask in the holiday weekend and will return on Tuesday with our next entry. Enjoy the holiday!
Brew Hoop 2017-18 Roster Ranking
11. Mirza Teletovic
12. John Henson
13. Rashad Vaughn
14. Spencer Hawes
15. Gary Payton II
The 10th most valuable Buck on the roster is...
This poll is closed