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Milwaukee Bucks 2022: Ranking the Roster - Introduction

It’s that time of year again!

2022 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks

It’s August, so you know what time it is. Summer vacations are winding down, kids are going back to school, and the NBA preseason is...still weeks away, so we’ve got more waiting to do. While we wait for the Milwaukee Bucks to return to action, why not return to one of our favorite pastimes: ranking the Bucks roster?

This series has run annually here on Brew Hoop for quite some time (since 2014!), but there have been different versions of these rankings over the course of the different eras the franchise has moved through. Originally, it was a ranking of assets since the Bucks had just completed their worst series on record. Then the team improved some, and it became an ordering of which players were “most important for future success.” Finally, once the Bucks made it to (and won!) the 2021 NBA Finals, we find ourselves in our current state, where we rank the roster based on postseason potential. From last year’s intro:

[P]ostseason success should be paramount in your mind when considering your rankings. Regular season competency is a bonus, especially if they can help the team get to a higher seed that yields dividends in the Playoffs, but think about how you envision each individual player factoring in when postseason games arrive.

With that in mind, who else wants to join me for a stroll down memory lane? How many of the current collection of players were even in Milwaukee back in 2014 (I’ll give you two guesses.)? How have rankings changed over time, and how much turnover has the roster undergone since the Mike Budenholzer Era began? Don’t worry about Googling the results from years past: I collected them here for you!

Brew Hoop Ranking the Roster, Historical Results

Current Player 2014 Rank 2015 Rank 2016 Rank 2017 Rank 2018 Rank 2019 Rank 2020 Rank 2021 Rank
Current Player 2014 Rank 2015 Rank 2016 Rank 2017 Rank 2018 Rank 2019 Rank 2020 Rank 2021 Rank
Giannis Antetokounmpo 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Khris Middleton 7 4 3 2 2 2 3 2
Jrue Holiday - - - - - - 2 3
Brook Lopez - - - - 5 3 4 4
Bobby Portis - - - - - - 5 5
Pat Connaughton - - - - 11 7 6 7
Wes Matthews - - - - - 6 - -
Grayson Allen - - - - - - - 9
Jevon Carter - - - - - - - -
Joe Ingles - - - - - - - -
MarJon Beauchamp - - - - - - - -
George Hill - - - - - 5 - 8
Serge Ibaka - - - - - - - -
Thanasis Antetokounmpo - - - - - 15 15 12
Jordan Nwora (RFA) - - - - - - 14 13
Sandro Mamukelashvili - - - - - - - 15
A.J. Green - - - - - - - -

A few notes on this table:

  • The 2020 rankings were a mess. The offseason was truncated so we ranked players in bulk, within their position groups; I attempted to put players in some rough order based on the voting results, so take those figures with a grain of salt.
  • We’ve gotten to know Wes Matthews pretty well, but he only appears on this table once because he wasn’t on the roster at the beginning of last season.
  • The following players have never been ranked in this exercise: Jevon Carter and Serge Ibaka (joined the Bucks midseason in 2021-22), MarJon Beauchamp and two-way player A.J. Green (rookies), and Joe Ingles (new to Milwaukee).
  • Jordan Nwora is on the list as a formality; Milwaukee extended him a qualifying offer and...nothing has happened since. He might return to the Bucks, or he might seek employment elsewhere (and free up his seat on the bench for someone – anyone – else, or no one at all). Until we know for sure, we’ll keep him in mind...but that could change at any moment.
  • The Bucks have retained six of their top seven-ranked (by this exercise) players from the past two offseasons: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, and Pat Connaughton. With a little bit of help, you can make a solid playoff rotation out of that group!

The general structure will remain the same: we’ll include a poll in the article that lets you vote for the Least Important Buck on that post’s list. The “winner” of that poll gets voted off and their ranking is set, and the next post will include the next poll, from 17 all the way up to 1 (aka “the Giannis spot”).

One thing we’re going to do a little differently this time around is add a “confidence rating” for each player who we highlight at their respective spot on the list. It will be a simple 1-5 Likert scale that asks the question: how confident are you that this player will be in the 2023 postseason rotation? It will look a little something like this:


Gut Check: how confident are you that [PLAYER] will be in the playoff rotation?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    1 – Not in the rotation, at all.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    2 – Might play a few rotation minutes, here and there.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    3 – Will get some minutes, depends on the series.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    4 – Will be part of the rotation, playing steady minutes.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    5 – Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
    (0 votes)
0 votes total Vote Now

This will help us differentiate between players in the middle of the pack that have different questions surrounding them, whether it’s ability, stability, availability, or something else entirely. For example, who will get a higher score on this mark: the savvy veteran Joe Ingles, or the “toolsy” rookie MarJon Beauchamp? It will help inform our early opinion about the end-of-season roster, and also be something worth looking back on next year, where we can tell how close (or far off) our preseason preconceptions were to reality.

But enough about that, let’s get going! I’ve preemptively organized the roster into general “tiers” based on our playoff-centric perspective, so without further ado, let’s kick things off by choosing which player on this list is the least important for the Bucks to be successful in the playoffs. Ready, set, vote!


The 17th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s Postseason Success is...

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    A.J. Green (two-way)
    (123 votes)
  • 2%
    Sandro Mamukelashvili (two-way)
    (5 votes)
  • 11%
    Jordan Nwora (RFA)
    (20 votes)
  • 6%
    Thanasis Antetokounmpo
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Serge Ibaka
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    George Hill
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    MarJon Beauchamp
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    Joe Ingles
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    Jevon Carter
    (2 votes)
180 votes total Vote Now