Malik Beasley is one of a handful of fresh faces on the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster going into the 2023–2024 season. He joined the wing rotation with the hope that he could be a much-needed three-point marksman after inking a veteran minimum deal in free agency.
Beasley’s career has taken a wayward path over the past few seasons. After being selected at no. 19 in the 2016 NBA Draft and showing promise early in his career with the Denver Nuggets, Beasley was sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 4-team trade. Earning a sizeable second contract, Beasley cemented himself as a spark plug sixth man for a team that was often in flux before being dealt away again as part of last summer’s Rudy Gobert trade. Beasley’s appeal was enough to prompt a midseason acquisition by the Los Angeles Lakers, who fell in the Western Conference Finals to the eventual-champion Nuggets.
Now, Beasley finds himself on a Bucks team pushing for a(nother) title of its own with the potential to be an important contributor, according to Brew Hoop readers who have ranked him as the eighth-most important player on the roster based on potential playoff impact.
Beasley’s latent talents make it clear what Milwaukee’s front office is hoping he will bring to the team: off-ball floor spacing. With a career 37.8% three-point percentage, Beasley’s mark would have been a shade higher than Brook Lopez’s 37.4% if he had been a member of the Bucks and maintained that figure last season.
However, Beasley’s actual percentage from deep last season (35.7%) was his lowest since his sophomore campaign in 2017–2018. There is certainly proof that he can push that mark closer to 40% with the correct diet of looks, which bodes well in an offense with willing passers such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday.
Acquiring Beasley also added a slight injection of youth to the roster going into next season; in 2022–2023, the Bucks had the oldest roster in the NBA. Beasley is younger than everyone from last year’s team except A.J. Green and MarJon Beauchamp, yet he still has veteran status after being drafted out of Florida State in 2016.
A big question about Beasley, though, is what else does he have to offer? As an organization, the Bucks have seen players with narrow skill sets come and go. Bryn Forbes proved extremely useful against the Miami Heat in the playoffs en route to Milwaukee’s 2020–2021 NBA championship in a role that cast him purely as a shooter before his minutes tapered off against opponents that called for more defense from the backcourt.
While no one is going to mistake him for a stellar individual defender, our colleagues at Canis Hoopus noted that Beasley played well in the Timberwolves’ high-wall team defense scheme in 2021–2022. No matter the intricacies and folds implemented by new head coach Adrian Griffin in his scheme, perhaps sharing a court with any of the Bucks’ three elite defenders will encourage Beasley to commit himself to that side of the game and acquit himself admirably.
Rebounding is another area of Beasley’s game that currently leaves something to be desired, as he has tracked down just 6.6% of available rebounds over his career. That number does rise slightly to 8.3% in his playoff performances, though, and there is a clear expectation for the Bucks to be in plenty of postseason contests at the end of the coming season.
If everything works as general manager Jon Horst has planned, Beasley should be a significant part of the rotation once the playoffs roll around. While Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton are more known quantities within the organization, Beauchamp is on the rise—and Green is still not the coach’s son—none of them pose the same threat or have the same reputation of warping defenses toward the perimeter as Beasley.
Gut check: How confident are you that Pat Connaughton will be in the playoff rotation?
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1 - Not in the rotation at all.
2 - Might play a few rotation minutes here and 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!
As we continue to rank the roster going into the 2023–2024 NBA season, all the names left are recognizable, from the role players to the Core Four. Will the Brew Hoop faithful choose another wing to ‘win’ next, or will you put your collective voting power behind a dark horse? (Bobby Portis might still be basking in the international basketball afterglow.)
The 7th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s Postseason Success Is...
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