As we arrive closer to the Top 5 in our roster ranking we pass a player who makes solid contributions but does not carry the load and present the most valuable future like the players in our Top 5 do. That player, of course, is Tony Snell. He is the embodiment of how a change in scenery can jump start a career and earn a player a heftier paycheck along the way. Last year’s rankings saw Snell slotted in at number 10, replacing Michael Carter-Williams, mainly out of sheer convenience since his signing happened while our ranking was being revealed.
When Snell came over via trade from the Chicago Bulls, most fans had their collective guard up as to what he could bring the Bucks lineup. Snell’s third year in the league was only slightly better from his rookie year and a step down from his sophomore season. Having gone through the tumultuous gauntlet that is the GarPax Bulls, Snell found a comfort in Milwaukee’s youthful roster; a comfort that was seen by an increase in his point per game, 3-point shooting, and overall field goal percentage. Given the chance to be in the starting lineup night in and night out helped Snell find consistency in a role he was ready to fill. Logging a touch under 30 minutes a game seemed to jump start Snell’s confidence and lead to the statistical increases.
The 3-point shooting played a large part in Snell’s renaissance seeing a 4.5 point increase to 40.6% for the year while doubling his per-game 3’s made and attempted averages from 2015-2016. His rekindled stroke led to an Offensive Rating increase of 21(!) points to 114 compared to his paltry 93 rating during his last year in Chicago. Much of that increase came from who he spent his time with on the court. When Snell was paired with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, and Thon Maker, the lineup saw major increases in 3 point shooting and Effective Field Goal Percentage. That lineup, full of potential and positive chemistry, is one to keep an eye out for this season.
Snell’s increase in value came from his work on the defensive end where he continued his career’s positive DRtg trajectory. As 3-and-D wings become hot commodities for championship chasing rosters, Snell continues to emphasize and capitalize on the “D” part of that moniker. As a hot commodity, Snell cashed in on his restricted free agency market opportunities. This was due in large part to the Bucks’ front office offering Snell what turned out to be a probably higher than market contract before any other teams could offer Snell. The Bucks could have gotten Snell cheaper, but that’s not to say that another team wouldn’t have swooped in with an offer greater than what the Bucks ponied up. The Bucks played it safe and snagged their guy up right away and minimized their short term risk. How Snell’s contract looks on the books two seasons from now when the youngins are shedding their rookie deals remains to be seen.
Snell’s value comes from his skill set on both ends of the court - a skill set that has become a coveted commodity for contenders to fill their lineups with. His contract is not the cheapest, considering how he could have potentially been signed cheaper than what he was offered this off-season, but his contract is not a headache inducing one like other players that have come and gone in our ranking. If Snell does not regress to his career offensive mean this upcoming season, then I have a feeling he will be knocking on the door of the Top 5 next year.
Brew Hoop 2017-18 Roster Ranking
7. Tony Snell
8. D.J. Wilson
9. Matthew Dellavedova
10. Sterling Brown
11. Mirza Teletovic
12. John Henson
13. Rashad Vaughn
14. Spencer Hawes
15. Gary Payton II
The 6th most valuable Buck on the roster is...
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