Summer League is finished. Long live Summer League.
With the closing of the NBA’s glorified exhibition in the American southwest, we now officially step over that line dividing us between stuff to talk about and... whenever the hell Media Day is. The site will continue on, of course, scraping together some stats here, a moderately-at-best informed take there, and Fan Posts galore, but for at least a few months we’ll be out of new developments to add to the mosaic of our basketball knowledge.
This is, naturally, the hardest part of the calendar for the MMMR. Don’t be surprised if you roll through here weekly and see, at best, one or two stories that might have something to do with the Bucks directly. We may need to pivot to coverage of Bucks County, Pennsylvania if we hope to stay on-brand.
That same drop-off in stuff to talk about also coincides with what we can call our collective formal offseason. The players are out and about on beaches or in gyms around the world, and we should be doing the same. So don’t be reticent to unplug for awhile. We’ve all gone through essentially three closely-condensed seasons in a row and should get a little break from those orange spheres, too.
It is moderately reassuring that Donte sees more similarities between the culture of the Warriors and the Bucks than he does the Warriors and the Kings. As he himself states, it probably begins with the character of your respective superstar, and in King Goof Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks continue to have one of the more personable and approachable players in the entire league to build a culture around
NBA 7-Footers Are Having A Renaissance … Or Are They? (FiveThirtyEight)
A shame Brook Lopez missed most of the season and so is unable to add his literal weight to the numbers being shown here. I think if you zoom out and note the trends in professional basketball, this isn’t particularly surprising. First, teams can measure defensive prowess at a deeper level than mere shot blocking; now they can track contests, opponent FG% when a player is guarding the rim, etc. Second, with more systems opting for movement across the board and shots from the perimeter or at the rim, being a good defender rests a lot on your ability to navigate the no man’s land between those two spaces. Can you corral a pick and roll? Time it perfectly when you need to jump out and jam the ball handler? Remain aware of rotations and switch over quickly enough to make a shot difficult? Seven footers can do all those things, but physics are physics, and getting a mass of that size moving takes more energy, so I think it makes intuitive sense that at the margins, the tallest players aren’t as preeminent on that end of the floor if their body control isn’t at the highest level.
Why Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell megadeals could expand an unprecedented NBA trend (ESPN+ - Subscription required)
Apologies for the paywall, but this piece goes into the altering economy in future draft picks happening league-wide at the moment. The revolution began when the Boston Celtics acquired what would end up being three draft picks and a draft swap for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce; a trade so lopsided the moment it was agreed that it could easily have engendered a conservationist turn in executive thinking.
Instead, we’ve seen trades continue apace, and the Bucks themselves have taken part having sent a boatload of picks to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday. The sense that the league is entering a more “competitive” era with the aging out of LeBron James means those “couple pieces away from winning it all” franchises have more incentive to use up draft capital to get help now. On top of that, having 20 draft picks is nice in theory, but somewhat difficult to manage given the roster slot limits the NBA has.
That isn’t to say first-round picks aren’t valuable — just that their true value remains in limbo, differing as it does from team to team and within the wider league structure.
NBA Prospect Marjon Beauchamp Will Always Embrace Yakima Roots (1460 ESPN Yakima)
You may need to scroll down to find the second full edition on this story, not sure what exactly happened when they hit publish on it. Anyways, this is from 2020 before MarJon had even joined up with the G League Ignite team and hits some of the similar notes we’ve learned about his story leading up to getting drafted. Still remarkable for a kid to emerge from a smaller out of the way town like Yakima, even if Beauchamp did ultimately spend a good amount of his high school playing years in the Seattle area.
Basketball star Jrue Holiday and Olympic Gold Medalist Lauren Holiday helping inspire kids in New Orleans East (WGNO)
The Holidays are well known for spending a good amount of time and financial resources backing nonprofit causes across the country. Unsurprising, then, that they’re spending some of their offseason time showing up for some youth programs in New Orleans. Good on the Holidays, as usual.
Fan Post of the Week
I went to go poke my head in with the Fan Post team and just saw this on their door...
Can’t wait to see the catch!
The Social Media Section
You know you’re the King of Goofs when you do this setup/punchline and don’t even bother with a second take so your kids aren’t losing their gourds in the background
This dude’s build is insanity lmao
Vin Baker telling Summer Leaguers hard truths after losses confirmed?
I wonder if this was staged, and if so, how did they choose the positioning of the individuals between the camera and Wes
S/O to RiotPunch over on the Bucks RealGM board
It’d be funnier if he replied “I’ve no idea if I’ll even be able to play this year”
It sure is, Coach
Two legendary Milwaukee bag getters
Mariah and Lauren Holiday in the comments about Grayson and his fianceé being gorgeous people. Bulls fans in shambles again.
The more I see of his ink work, the more convinced I am that I’ll be getting hand tattoos at some point or another
For the first time in a long time, I end this column with quite literally nothing on the nearby horizon to hint at. The offseason ain’t no joke.