Out with the... almost nobody from last year, in with the... pretty much all the dudes who were already on the roster? That’s right, GM Jon Horst did It, and by It I mean keeping the vast majority of the 2021-2022 Milwaukee Bucks roster right here in Milwaukee. If you’re looking for a general recap of the philosophy guiding Horst’s hands, we’ve got just the piece for you.
Interestingly, because the team has only brought in two new faces — one a rookie with 12 G-League games to his name, the other a 34 year-old veteran recovering from a torn ACL — the newly surest bet on the Bucks improving falls squarely on the shoulders of coach Mike Budenholzer. When Bud first arrived in town, part of the sell of his taking over was the idea of “vitamins”; i.e. the purposeful ethic of individual player development. One can argue that while we’ve seen some misses when it comes to improving young prospects, the advantageous positions Bud regularly puts his starters/mid-career veterans into is his clearest contribution to player growth.
Previously, though, a lot of that was predicated on there being new faces to find new places for. Last year he had Jevon Carter (a success in the minutes he played), Serge Ibaka (decent results), Grayson Allen (also probably a decent-to-neutral success), and Semi Ojeleye/Rodney Hood (disasters) to mix in. The year before, he had Jrue Holiday, PJ Tucker, Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig, DJ Augustin, and Bobby Portis (on balance, more hits than misses and even the misses were salvageable). In 2019-2020, there was Wes Matthews, Robin Lopez, Bonzie Colson, and Dragan Bender (meh).
What I’m getting at is a wonder at whether Budenholzer can properly keep the schematic designs fresh with a roster that is decidedly not year-over-year. Some of the principles will not change so long as, say, Brook Lopez is the main figure inside on defense, and so it is the second- and third-order gameplan design that gives expression to Milwaukee’s dynamic creativity. By the end of the Bubble, we looked anything but inspired, whereas a year ago the team appeared to regularly find new gears when they ran up against another wall.
Coaches do not take the shots or make the defensive reads, but I do believe they have a real impact on winning and losing. This coming season, barring a big mid-season trade, Budenholzer will have another 82+ games with a roster that looks largely the same as it did a few months ago — does he have some tricks up his sleeve to keep things rolling forward? I sure hope so.
Every reported free agency deal for all 30 teams (NBA.com)
Almost assuredly someone has posted this in the general NBA free agency thread on the homepage, so mea culpa if I’m stepping on your toes. If you want to wipe the slate clean and just view the standalone transactions, the above link is just for you (though I note it doesn’t include trades as I do not think we’ve passed the official moratorium to start those moves).
Grayson Allen Trade Rumors (Duke Basketball Report)
If you go into this piece expecting there to be any sourcing at all on where these “trade rumors” are coming from, prepare to be disappointed! BUT! If you’re the kind of fan who loves just throwing stuff at the wall for the hell of it, consider this my granting you official permission to further circulate the rumor that you heard that Grayson Allen is on the trading block — and we might get James Wiseman for him.
Giannis Antetokounmpo unveils new Zoom Freak 4 sneaker (ESPN)
For the sneaker heads among us. Has anyone here purchased any of the three previous iterations of the Zoom Freaks, and if so, what did you think compared to other basketball shoes you’ve had? I buy running shoes and Vans and so do not belong in the target market, but some of the designs/colorways are pretty aesthetically pleasing regardless.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Family Discuss Their ‘Rise’ (Sports Illustrated) & Giannis Antetokounmpo tells Jalen Rose how he almost didn’t become a baller (New York Post)
Giannis and his family have been on a bit of a media tour in the lead-up and after the release of “Rise”, which means we’ve got random podcasts here for you to listen to if you have some idle time to fill. I haven’t listened to either episode with Howard Beck or Jalen Rose, but I just want Giannis to know we’d be happy to pencil him in for an appearance on the Brew Hoop Podcast if he has time on Sunday mornings (Central).
NBA says take-foul penalty will change at summer leagues (NBA.com)
If this sticks and holds through to the regular season, Giannis might average 25 points a game in transition alone. Interestingly, the league is also taking the power to initiate video replay reviews of goaltending/basket interference calls out of the hands of refs in the final 2 minutes of regulation in Summer League. The NBA normally test drives such changes in the G-League, so we’ll see what makes its way into the top level in time.
Fan Post of the Week
R983 just drowned the Fan Post segment of the site last week, and for that we heartily salute them! If you’re looking to debate position by position player rankings, today’s like your Christmas in July:
- Top 58 Point Guards
- Top 60 Shooting Guards
- Top 61 Small Forwards
- Top 62 Power Forwards
- Top 64 Centers
Who says traditional position archetypes are dead anyways?
Congrats to R983 on the victory this week, and I speak for everyone here in the community when I say thanks for putting in the time and effort to not only perform this exercise, but to share it (and your wider basketball knowledge) freely with the rest of us!
The Social Media Section
King Dork remains the most powerful person in a sovereign state of the USA
Someone has to stop him
Big freaky ass dude pic.twitter.com/p23yKHIOaS— Roc (@CoolyRoc_) July 1, 2022
The most handsome man in Wisconsin retains his title for another year
And if you think this is a game to Serge, do I have bad news for you
Welcome back to the squad. Pick it up right where you left off, please.
Damn, Bud’s already got the rook locked in the gym with Sandro. He’s not messing around.
Gonna be random as hell when we pull his QO this week when he gets back from Greece
The best part of this recent few years has been the random FAs who have become irreplaceable; Bobby is the penultimate example of that
Great news for all of us basketball-starved Bucks fans: Summer League is back this week! They kick things off this Friday against the Brooklyn Nets, a team who I absolutely have to assume will have next to no actual rostered players suited up. That’s a 6 PM (Central) start time and airs on NBATV, so good luck finding that. I’m not sure yet, but I think you can watch the replay on League Pass if you have that subscription.
Here’s hoping all the guys have a positive first night out!