MarJon Beauchamp was always going to be an extremely tough player to gauge in this exercise. On the one hand, he has that special something very few others on the roster have called “athleticism”. On the other hand, he often looks too raw to be relied on for anything more than 10-15 minutes in that sea of regular season games from January through April.
Still, I think it correct for you, the BH readership, to have dropped him from the ship at ninth behind guys like Jae Crowder and Malik Beasley. While Malik will be almost exclusively a plug-and-score-or-get-put-on-the-bench option, Jae is one of the few on the team capable of guarding big men in theory along with average 3P%s. Veterans aren’t sexy because they are known quantities, but it makes them surer bets when it comes to projecting months ahead. Compared to them, Beauchamp has upside, but a low floor to go with it.
For MarJon, 2022-2023 was what I think you can call a rookie season. With Khris Middleton away with injury, the opportunity for minutes was there, with 23 of his 52 appearances on the year garnering him 15 minutes played or more. A good chunk of those came prior to January 2023, after which appearances began to dry up besides victory cigar lineups or matchups against bottom feeders like the Charlotte Hornets.
He would start 11 games, average 5.1 points (.395/.331/.730), 2.2 rebounds, and 0.5 stocks (steals + blocks). Looking at some of the advanced percentages, the only thing he did on the court that registered in the double-digits was DRB% at 11.0% and TOV% at 14.8%. 38.3% of his shot attempts were “wide open” threes (i.e. no defender within 6+ feet of him) and he made a paltry 30.1% of those. In short, while he had chances to make good on a fortuitous situation with other players out with injury, he never really took advantage on either end of the floor. Flashes, yes, but little consistency.
Which leads us to the question of what to expect from MJB this coming year.
This past summer was certainly one MarJon will remember, although it has me wondering what lessons he is going to take away from it. Starting in Summer League, he was good for 23 points and 20 points against the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, his ability to get to the line helping offset a pedestrian 3P%. His rebounding was okay, but he also didn’t create much for others. He’d then promptly score 0 points against the Nets and 10 against the Heat, again with mediocre percentages.
Then came the 83 point game:
That was certainly a game of basketball.
What I’m trying to get at here is the sense that MarJon has spent this summer very focused on his offensive game. But is that a mistake? And possibly a big one? Especially if he hasn’t progressed all that much when he has to face NBA defenders. It isn’t exactly like he woke up and is now silky smooth navigating crowded spaces. He looks too cramped to be convincing to me just yet.
Far be it from me to ever discourage any player looking to grow an aspect of their skills; everyone knows the Bucks would benefit immensely if an unknown quantity like MarJon proves to be a capable two-way player. He will likely get plenty more wide-open looks to start this season, and serving as an off-ball cutting option is one of the few lanes non-starters can readily fill.
But the whole idea of MarJon, as far as I understand it (or thought I understood it), is that he would carve a long-term place for himself in the NBA primarily on defense. And if his first season is anything to go off of, there is a ways to go on that end. He clearly has the athletic potential, but thus far I wouldn’t say it has come together to make him the kind of menace that represents his only path to consistent playing time. Any old dude on this roster can score if given enough chances — how many can we look at and say “he can make an opposing player’s life hell” defensively?
The idea of MarJon is that he can become one of those guys, and then any scoring he does off the gravity generated by others is a cherry on top. His build is promising, and a whole year in an NBA training program will help him close the strength gap, but the final trick of putting it all together remains elusive from the outside looking in.
A final note: If there is one thing MarJon has going for him, it is the wild card of coach Adrian Griffin. Had Mike Budenholzer stuck around, I’d have just written off this year for MarJon and any possible development. Progressing youth was never a strong suit under the previous regime (although in fairness, the talent level being worked with was also minimal). Perhaps a new coach with a new approach can make a difference? I’m looking to stay positive here.
Anyways, MarJon posted a one hour, 43 minute documentary about a week in the life yesterday titled “Holy Child EP. 1”. Truly deranged behavior.
But maybe you’re more optimistic/pessimistic than I am about MarJon. Where are you thinking he fits in this postseason rotation?
Gut check: How confident are you that MarJon Beauchamp will be in the playoff rotation?
This poll is closed
1 - Not in the rotation at all
2 - Might play a few rotation minutes here or there
3 - Will get some minutes, depending on the series
4 - Will be part of the rotation, playing steady minutes
5 - Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes
And on to the next round of player voting!
The 8th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s Postseason Success Is...
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Thank you for reading!