We are now over a week removed from the up and down faux reality that is Summer League, and that’s given us some time to process what exactly we bore witness to. For some, the 10 days in Vegas solidified the conviction that Sandro Mamukelashvili may one day become something. For others, Lindell Wigginton made a decent case to be the fourth point guard on the depth chart. Beyond those conclusions, critically, we all agreed that AJ Green has a three-point trigger finger that’d make late-stage Kyle Korver blush.
The most important player on display in a Bucks uniform, of course, was MarJon Beauchamp. I saw some talk in the comments guesstimating how many minutes he will log in this, his inaugural pro campaign, with somewhere around 1200 (i.e. year two Jordan Nwora) feeling like a favored mark, especially in light of the fact that there will be two to three full months of regular season play before Joe Ingles makes his lineup debut. In some sense, I think whether he breaks through that 1200 mark comes down to how much growth he can flash between now and next January.
Imagine, for a moment, a world in which Joe Ingles returns from the torn ACL and, while fully healthy and in great shape, just fails to cut it on the defensive end even more than initially anticipated. Meanwhile, MarJon, while no sudden offensive facilitator extraordinaire, can shoot threes in the low-to-mid 30s and essentially plays the role of catch-all cleanup man off-ball. If, as we hope, Beauchamp can put on some muscle before the season and maintains a moderately above-average defensive presence, is that enough to narrow the gap between Beauchamp and Ingles as the season wears on for the coveted eighth or ninth man slot in a shortened rotation?
It is obvious that Beauchamp will get minutes when the season starts — Mike Budenholzer gives guys who defend playing time — and with Khris Middleton out due to a wrist surgery, the runway may be even longer. The first three months will be a sort of trial by fire for Milwaukee’s rookie, one where, should he successfully survive it, an immediate legitimate role on a title-contending team awaits. For a guy still coming into his own as a player, I couldn’t picture a better situation to find yourself in. Here’s hoping he grasps it with both hands.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to play for Greece at EuroBasket 2022 (CBS Sports) & Bucks assistant Josh Oppenheimer joins Greece’s coaching staff (Eurohoops)
Big shoutout to Clout God Josh Oppenheimer who, I assume, will be gunning for the distinction of having been on a coaching staff on every continent by the time he retires. I’m looking forward to EuroBasket not only because it’ll be like the most pure glass of water you’d ever see in a desert, but also to see how Giannis adjusts his approach at the international level. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there some big hubbub about the Brazilian coach saying he X’d and O’d Giannis into irrelevance? One-time hubris or continued painful truth: We’re set to find out in the first half of September.
Full 2022 NBA offseason grades for Milwaukee Bucks (Clutch Points)
First, get a load of this header image, because it’d look natural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel:
That’s the Clutch Points difference.
I’d quibble with giving the MarJon draft pick a C if only because, if you read my self-important intro, he’ll be in the rotation right away unlike Nwora who mostly got scraps as a rookie. Otherwise, a solid B feels just about right for where the team is now that the main section of transaction season is at a close.
Always a moving tribute to those who helped support these players on the harrowing journey to this point. Especially so with MarJon having to move to Seattle as a teen to pursue basketball opportunities there. Congrats to him and his family.
How much are teams willing to give up in trades these days? (NBA.com) & Desperate times: Behind the madcap craze of massive NBA draft picks packages (Yahoo Sports)
Consider these as sorts of companion pieces to Zach Lowe’s long article last week about the latest in future draft pick trade value. The more I read these articles, the more it seems like nobody has a real clue what the hell anyone is doing, and it is more or less guesswork as to whether a first-round pick past the lottery is worth jack. That the league puts brakes on team executives from trading every draft pick they have from now until eternity is probably a good thing, the human urge to grab at every tool in the box to save your lucrative job being what it is. Even still, they’re finding ways to ever more routinely swap four or five unprotected selections for the services of single individuals. A testament to star power, I guess, even if the star in question isn’t a top-10 player and projects to only slide further down the ranks in time.
NBA Trade Value List: Summer 2022 Edition (The Ringer)
An affront to all that is good and pure that MarJon didn’t crack either the top 64 or the honorable mentions list. I’m assuaged by the reality that all our big three made the list, even if Khris Middleton merely snuck in under the “he’s worth more to us than to you” section which, to be fair, is an excelling correct reading of the situation.
All-Access: NBA Summer League With MarJon Beauchamp, Sandro Mamukelashvili, And Lindell Wigginton & All-Access: Pat Connaughton Signs Contract Extension (Bucks YouTube)
Isn’t it a little misleading to title these clips as “all-access”? At best, we get some shots of the individuals involved saying “this is crazy” and then being happy to sign their contract; valuable and inoffensive, no doubt, but not exactly what I’d term all-access. They don’t even bother to tell us what brand and style of personalized pen they got Pat Connaughton which is a MINIMUM fact we’d need before even dreaming of deeming this to be the inside look the team would like for us to foolishly believe it is.
Anyways, relive the joys of Summer League and watch Pat become The Godfather of Milwaukee Real Estate.
Fan Post of the Week
Looks like the gang is back from their long fishing trip, and they brought in quite the haul if their posts are anything to go by! Three good pieces, all deserving of praise, however, as an extremist myself, I have to give this week’s FPOTW award to 13-14bucks for “Marjon is the Next Kawhi”. In a post that would make the Brazilian men’s national team blush, the money line is surely, “...shut down losers like LaVine, Booker, Tatum etc.” which is the kind of dismissiveness that kindles my cold heart.
And for our honorable mentions, definitely check out the work of R983 and lightning-rod-man as well:
- Team Rankings by R983
- Let’s Fire Up the Trade Machine and Cook Up Some Trades That Won’t Happen by lightning-rod-man
The Social Media Section
Bobby may never become President of the United States, but he is firmly the spiritual mayor of Milwaukee. Genuinely a fun video from Bobby and the Visit Milwaukee team.
God Emperor of the Goofs continues to grow stronger by the day
I truly believe Lanky Smoove may be the only former Buck whose every Instagram post will have a place on the MMMR until I hang it up
Serge looks amazing, so I highly recommend you follow his skincare guide ASAP
Here are three images of Jevon pointing
Jrue thinks he’s me on my rec league volleyball team
Surprisingly, this article went much longer than it had any right going. I will almost assuredly struggle to break the 1K word mark all that regularly during August and September, barring some elaborate intro bit I can gin up in the coming week.