Malcolm Brogdon was about as good of a fit for the Bucks in his time in Milwaukee as you could get, a steal in the 2016 draft getting three seasons of Malcolm on the Bucks was truly a pleasure to watch, unfortunately for the Bucks when you have a guy who shoots above 40% from three, 50% from the field and 90% from the free-throw line you’re going to attract some attention from other NBA teams. Malcolm is now gone which leaves a massive hole in the rotation that needs to be filled for the Bucks for next season. That begs the questions “Who of the remaining Bucks players will make the biggest impact for the Bucks over the next season?”
For starters let’s look over who the Bucks have, and in my opinion, I do not think I have ever seen a deeper rotation of guys at one position for the Buck’s. As of now the Bucks shooting guards on their roster are Sterling Brown, Pat Connaughton, Donte Divincenzo, Wes Matthews and Kyle Korver. Let’s go over briefly each player and what they bring to the Bucks from the player that will make the least amount of impact to the player that will make the biggest impact.
5.) Donte DiVincenzo
First up is the Big Ragu, Donte DiVincenzo. An interesting prospect. A big shot maker in his college days at Villanova, helping them win a championship as the sixth man and having freak athleticism, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that the Big Ragu has the stuff to make it in the NBA. Where I do have my concerns is in his durability, since we hardly saw what he could do last season because of bursitis in his foot. It was strange because Donte started last season firmly in the rotation playing on average over twenty minutes a game for the first ten games and then from out of nowhere it seemed like he was gone. Donte would come back sporadically throughout last season with him not playing more than four games in a row after the fourteenth game of the season, then finally being shut down in late March not to be seen playing since, Donte not playing in this year’s summer league makes me wonder if he is ready for the start of the season, or even if he will play this coming season at all. I cannot say for sure how much of an impact Donte will have next season for this Bucks team, but with the amount of players that the Bucks have that have had NBA success and are ready to go right now makes me believe that Donte will get quite a few DNP’s and probably some rehab time with the Herd, and probably the least likely guy out of this group to make a serious on the court impact for the Bucks.
4.) Sterling Brown
Next let’s talk about the player that has spent the most amount of time with the Bucks with a hardy 2 whole seasons playing for the Bucks, Sterling Brown. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Sterling Brown is what he brings on the defensive end, Sterling is a scrappy wing defender that can antagonize players. He communicated really well on the defensive end and genuinely makes your team better on defense. On offense, he is a good plug in player who does not try and do too much, and on nights when his shots are falling, he can be an asset for you on the floor. The only problem with Sterling was his inability to find consistency with the rest of the starters, having most of his minutes played with Giannis, Bledsoe, Lopez and Middleton and that lineup having almost all negative in per one-hundred possession except for in blocks +1.5. Which says a lot considering lineups with Giannis, Bledsoe, Middleton and Lopez were all statistically good if not exceptional. I do think that Sterling will get his opportunities to play extended minutes, but I think that his cap for minutes a game is going to be around fifteen minutes a game with quite a few did not plays. The nail in the coffin for me though was watching Sterling Brown struggle during this year’s summer league games. Sterling is going into his third NBA season and aside from Jared Allen on the nets he was probably up there for players who have the most amount of success in the NBA, and for him to have such a bad showing against fringe NBA guys and D-Leager’s made me think that there are better options for the Bucks for next season. For that reason, I do not think Sterling will have the most impact for this Bucks team.
It is hard for me to be much more satisfied with Pat Connaughton last season. I remember when I first was looking into Pat not having known much if anything about him before coming to the Bucks I praised his durability, having played in every single regular season game for the Blazer during the 17-18 season. For the most part that reigned true with his first season with the Bucks, only being truly inactive for the Bucks in one game this season. I also liked how he was a break in case of emergency spark plug type of guy for the Blazers, and yet again the same rung true for him in Milwaukee, especially during the playoffs where he had eighteen points against the Pistons. (Which admittedly isn’t the most important stat because that Pistons team was so bad that DeAndre Liggins could have probably done that) More importantly being a huge catalyst off the bench in the third game verses the Celtics making four three’s. Any guy that you sign at the tail end of the off-season for practically nothing that helps you win playoff games is more than okay in my book. On top of that Pat’s athleticism leads to a lot of highlight worthy plays including dunks and blocked shots. (Keep in mind Pat Connaughton dunked the ball forty-seven times last season which is 14 more times than Russell Westbrook did last season) Pat is definitely a feast of famine type of guy though, with some night being unplayable because he just doesn’t have it offensively, and on the defensive end he makes highlight reel plays but often times finds himself lost on defense which leads to quite a few open three’s and easy layups. Playoff Pat is definitely an asset for the Bucks and will probably find himself as the third guy out of five going long stretches of not playing and then getting thrown in to play twenty-five plus minute nights.
2.) Kyle Korver
This is where the list gets real spicy, especially when we are talking about one of the best NBA three-point shooters of all-time. First let’s talk about what Korver brings to the table. 3-point shooting, yup that’s pretty much it, but when you shoot as good for beyond the arch as he does you do not need to do a whole lot more. Having a career three point % of 42.9% is insanity especially considering that he averages almost five threes taken a game. On top of his shooting ability Kyle Korver has always moved the floor extremely well, he is not one of those guys who just sits in the corner and waits for someone to make a play to get him an open shot. Kyle is constantly moving around reading the defense and looking for any opportunity to get one up. The only reason why he is not number one is because of his age. At age thirty-eight it is hard to see Kyle playing more than twenty-five minutes a game, something he hasn’t done since the 16-17 season. Kyle is going to be extremely useful, but with more limited uses, but when he is on the court the same time as Giannis expect some pretty fun times.
1.) Wesley Matthews
The player that will have the most impact for the Bucks at the shooting guard position is Wesley Matthews. Something people might not know is that Matthews has started in 91% of all the career NBA games that he has played in. This guy is a night in and night out kind of guy who you can rely on at the two position. Wes has played over thirty minutes a game in every single season he has been in the league except for his first. I do not think that he will average above thirty minutes a game this year, but I do think that he will fall close to that, around the twenty-seven or twenty-eight minute mark. He is clearly not the shooter that Kyle Korver is, but is extremely effective at making tough shots. I have a feeling that he will start a good portion of the game and then have a good portion of his minutes running with the bench units when Khris and Giannis are getting rest because of his ability to be ball dominant when he must. The biggest X factor for me choosing Matthews over Korver is his defense. He is the type of guy who is competent enough on defense that when he is on the floor, he is not making your team worse, and can easily guard the two and three position. Expect Wesley Matthews to be the starting shooting guard on opening night.
The shootings guard position is going to be one of the biggest factors that leads to the Bucks success in the 19-20 season, because we know that Giannis and Khris are going to rake, and Bledsoe and B. Lopez are pretty consistent as well, if guys like Korver and Matthews can get 75% of the production that Brogdon got out of last season the Bucks will be well on their way to another Eastern Conference Finals run.