If we learned anything about the Milwaukee Bucks this past week, it is that these aren't your usual Bucks. Instead of making their “big name” free agent acquisition and then sitting back in anticipation of training camp, GM Jon Horst and coach Mike Budenholzer have been proactive in shifting the roster makeup, at least on the margins.
It feels like the amount of turnover has been abnormally high, even with two-way contracts in play:
- Ersan Ilysaova
- Brook Lopez
- Pat Connaughton
- Donte DiVincenzo
- Trevon Duval (Two-Way)
- Jaylen Morris (Two-Way)
- Jabari Parker
- Xavier Munford (Probable)
- Brandon Jennings (Probable)
- Marshall Plumlee
- Tyler Zeller (Probable)
That's an interesting mix of medium and small moves, and while none outside of Jabari Parker's departure are big headline grabbers, the whole signal a deliberate move towards three-point shooting. A LOT of three-point shooting
Perhaps the thinking that simply surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo with shooters and letting him work will turn out flawed due to some reason or another, but the sheer ability to change the core abilities of the players available with as little financial space as the Bucks have is impressive.
Now its up to Budenholzer and Co. to make the most of what's available. Let's see what you've got, Bud.
Who would have guessed I'd lead the links section with a piece directly tied to what my opening column addressed?
Michael Pina goes over the new offensive sets made feasible by the addition of Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez in the frontcourt rotation, and it is hard not to wonder just how radical a difference spacing from the big men may prove to be.
There will be questions of what lineups should ideally surround Giannis (should Brook mirror minutes with Antetokounmpo, is Thon a viable starting option, etc.). It won't always work to perfection. But it'll be a hell of a lot better than whatever it was Milwaukee was trying to do last season.
Giannis is the One We're All Rooting For (Bleacher Report)
The headline speaks for itself. Giannis' fanbase is larger than just us simple Bucks fans; it is global in nature. With luck, both of those things, a planet-wide following in a city like Milwaukee, can and will continue to co-exist.
NBA Guard Pat Connaughton’s Future Resides in Explosive Mid-90s Fastball (Bleacher Report)
I don't follow baseball at all. Like, not even a little bit unless I'm physically planted in the outfield at Target Field to watch the beloved Minnesota Twins break my friend's sabermetric-driven heart one more time.
But the Bucks forced me to “care” about America's past-time at least for 10 minutes by signing former-Trail Blazer and current (sorta) Baltimore Oriole Pat Connaughton. The Notre Dame graduate is a two-sport player and is able to pitch a little ball when called upon. Of course, that must mean he's Kevin Love-esque in his ability to zero an outlet pass to a streaking teammate, right?
I guess if this whole basketball thing doesn't work out the Brewers might be able to convince Baltimore to let the fastball maestro stick around town for a bit.
What to Make of the Post-Kawhi-Trade NBA (The Ringer)
Anyone else offended by all the talk of Kawhi Leonard instantly becoming the Eastern Conference's best player? Sure, he can play a bit of basketball on both ends of the court, and when he's locked in and healthy he's a menace. But aren't we overlooking the very real chance that he's neither healthy nor full committed to the coming season?
He passed his physical, but that doesn't mean the quad injury that ailed him last season is gone for good, and if he yearned for the lights and lifestyle of Los Angeles from San Antonio, I can only imagine how he'll feel in Toronto.
But, hey, maybe Leonard will turn it around and deny Giannis his rightful place atop the Eastern throne:
I'm shaking in my sneakers.
From the Social Media Realm
Uhhhhhhh, guys? Giannis’ biceps?
I showed this picture to my girlfriend, and she said, “Who are those guys? Why are they in our high school gym?”:
Thon has upgraded to quoting himself now:
I swear to not demean Jabari, I swear to not demean Jabari, I swear to not de...
Brandon Jennings is rapidly approaching his new guarantee date on August 1st, and Bucks fans are surely waiting with bated breath to see whether Jon Horst is crazy enough to bring BJ3 back. Odds are Brandon's second stint with Milwaukee will come to a close with Connaughton on the roster. If that's the case, I present to you the this 2018 highlight:
Bucks in Six on, Brandon.
Now we wait for the announcement of NBA Champion Nick Young signing with Milwaukee on a minimum deal.