Your Milwaukee Bucks have played a grand total of one Summer League game in 2022, which means it is time to extrapolate the results of those 40 minutes forward not merely into the near-future, but perhaps a decade forward. Join me, then, as I gamely try to talk up MarJon Beauchamp as a near-certain Hall of Fame lock.
Only joking... sort of.
Call it the insanity of boredom, the delusions of fans who haven’t seen a player with real potential drafted since we picked this random Greek kid who was sitting in the stands among sickos wearing Knicks jerseys, or simply optimism: I’ve seen a good amount of praise from MarJon’s debut in Milwaukee’s 94-90 win over the Nets. Most of that comes down to the fact that he looked capable of playing impactful basketball which, if we’re honest, was not something that could be regularly said about his Bucks draft predecessors this soon into the process.
Why the positive takeaways? It isn’t rooted in stats per se — though they turned out more solid than I’d anticipated — but in the flashes of impact amid the car crash that is Summer League basketball. His frame is slight, yet he has the control and instincts to alter shots on the move or when recovering position if he was beat off a pick or dribble move. That dribble handle is looser than a squeaky shopping cart wheel, and regardless of how many times he bounced the ball off his own foot he often threaded the needle to reacquire the ball before elevating for a much better shot attempt than he had any right getting up. Would it be better if these quirks in his game didn’t exist at all? Of course. But there’s a reason why he fell to us at 24th overall; the kinks may never get fully ironed out.
For now, I’ll take production under duress. The player he is at the moment merely hints at the range of possibilities — that we can talk about a range at all at this point strikes me as an auspicious development. Think forward to training camp/preseason after a few months with team staff. Think forward to mid-season after he’s been given minutes adjusting to true NBA competition. Think forward to his sophomore season when he can potentially start pulling all these strands together. Think forward because we can, and enjoy.
I believe Bobby firmly belongs in the camp of guys who won’t drop off now that the Big Payday has arrived. It just doesn’t strike me as a feature of his personality. At 27 years old, he’s signed on to potentially spend his entire professional prime in Milwaukee. There needn’t be massive growth in what he’s capable of to be impactful. I’d take skill refinement and consistent execution of a couple defensive schemes and consider it a great continuing success.
I’m pretty sure the rules say you’ve “made it” when draftees start comparing their game to your own. Especially if you’re a low-key individual like Khris Middleton. Best of luck to Murray in living up to the hype, and congrats to Khris for having become the kind of player a top lottery pick can compare himself to without people everywhere saying, “who?”
The NBA Teams That Leveled Up — And Found Bargains — In Free Agency (FiveThirtyEight)
Milwaukee has but a cameo in this piece getting a mention for picking up Joe Ingles as a “mystery box” piece. Beyond that, Jared Dubin highlights some other moves teams made within the context of their respective rosters which I found informative. Former Buck Donte DiVincenzo even gets a shoutout here as a guy who can defend and reliably shot from the perimeter; I was unaware of this second part to his game but also expect him to his 50+% from three on huge volume because he is now a Warrior.
This piece is funny because it lists the Lakers as “winners” of the free agency period and we get the exalted honor of being right below them in this ranking. Two teams that pretty much kept their cores assembled for quite different reasons, except adding Lonnie Walker IV is apparently able to life LA’s boat all on his own after San Antonio gave him a one-way bus ticket out of town.
Fan Post of the Week
Let’s talk a walk down to the Fan Post cubicles and check in with the crew...
The Social Media Section
I almost wrote a newser for this one
Sources: The Toronto Raptors signed DJ Wilson to a two-year, veteran minimum deal, which includes $250,000 guaranteed, @hoopshype has learned.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 8, 2022
S/O Bobby’s Mom
Giannis starts every offseason by putting a list of famous people’s names on a dartboard and throwing darts blindfolded to see who he’s going to meet this summer
Planning for his post-playing career that will begin in two decades
We’re now in the thick of Summer League action with three games set for the Bucks this week. First, they play the Boston Celtics tonight at 7 PM (Central), then it is the Timberwolves on Wednesday afternoon starting at 3 PM, before the “regular season” wraps up against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday at 7 PM.
Depending on how things shake out, the Bucks will end up playing a fifth game against an opponent TBD based on all 30 teams’ records after this week. Riveting stuff, I know.
Here’s to more flashes of promise!