Continuing the trend of fresh arrivals flying the Rank the Roster coop, Grayson Allen (he of Duke Blue Devil infamy) is up next at ninth. In listening to this insightful pod from Locked on Bucks that interviewed someone from Locked on Grizzlies, it sounds like Allen has turned a page from the antics that besmirched his reputation coming out of college. As a UW Badger fan, I don’t really hold all that much animosity towards him anymore, although I do still despise Tyus Jones. In retrospect, Allen’s emergence in his latter Duke years makes his outburst that game far less hurtful. But I digress; I have to say, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but it’s likely a product of the exercise that everyone who directly contributed to last year’s championship is likely going to rank above the new arrivals. It’s hard to prognosticate without any film, but I could see a world where Allen is more valuable than Hill, Donte or Portis next postseason if he simply plays serviceable defense and can actually reliably hit triples from the perimeter. Either way, I don’t see a ton of separation between the players I’m guessing will run 5-9 in this exercise. I’m curious how everyone here feels.
I thought this was a solid bit of business for Jon Horst and the front office to snag Grayson Allen from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Sam Merrill and two second-rounders. He’s less than a year older than Merrill, and while I was a general fan of Merrill, he can’t match Allen’s athleticism and the latter has already shown an NBA competency that has translated to the Playoffs in small samples. He also sets up an interesting competition between him and Donte DiVincenzo, both of whom will be restricted free agents after this season; Riley wrote at length about those two already.
He’s not much of a self-shot creator, with 91% of his 3-pointers being assisted last year. He is a solid shooter from deep though — more reliable than Donte with a career 38.1%. Last year he hit 39.1% on 274 attempts, nearly double his highest in-season total to that point. He also doesn’t get to the rim all that much, but he’s comfortable lofting up a floater with 18% of his shots coming from the 4-14 feet outside the basket, per Cleaning The Glass. He’s respectable there too — 39%, but I’m mostly curious to see if the threat of that shot can allow him to drive inside the arc and kick it out to his teammates. His assist percentage has gone up each year (up to 11.5% last year) so there could be some passing vision there, particularly in a Milwaukee ecosystem that could sport better spacing than Memphis.
Still, his biggest factor will be consistently knocking down the deep ball when he gets a kickout from Jrue, Giannis, Khris and the like. And he’s done that so far; one has to hope the trend continues and may even translate to the postseason this year. I don’t know much of what he’s capable of defensively, so I’ll be watching that most closely once we get more Milwaukee film of him. The most important thing is to remain assignment sound — a frequent problem of Donte’s that led to issues in the past. Memphis was worse on defense whenever Allen was on the floor in his two years there, but only 2.9 points per 100 possessions last year. That’s not debilitating, especially given that Memphis boasted a top-ten defense all last season.
Allen was a smart flier for this team, and last year was really his first chance at substantial minutes as a primary starter on the Playoff team. He has experience and the Bucks front office is likely hoping he can be a solid Donte stopgap and potential replacement if the Big Ragu somehow prices himself out of their luxury tax cap market.
Let’s keep this rolling and remember, this poll will remain open through the weekend.
The 8th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s Postseason Success is...
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This poll will close at 8 pm Central on Sunday, September 19th.