Bucks Summer League Preview

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Bucks Twitter.
With the majority of free agency completed, the NBA Offseason can move forward to the Summer League. Although this competition mostly centers around showcasing the top picks of the recent NBA Draft, the Summer League offers a lot in terms of both entertainment value and meaning to the players. For new rookies, this is an exciting period due to it being their first taste of action with their NBA team. Along with that, teams can start figuring out exactly what roles their young players will be featured in for the coming year. The Summer League is also a huge deal for undrafted players. This is their time to display their skills and prove to teams that they are worthy of a roster spot. Only 60 players are drafted each year, so there are lots of players fighting for roster slots this upcoming season. With their newly drafted players Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, along with young shooting guard Rashad Vaughn on the roster, the Bucks should have an interesting few games coming up. The first game for the Bucks squad will be at 5 p.m. (CT) on July 8th against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 


Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, July 8th at 5:00 p.m. (CT).

D-League Select on Sunday, July 10th at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, July 11th at 3:00 p.m. (CT).


#7 Thon Maker – F, 7’1″

Photo courtesy of the Summer League Twitter.
Photo courtesy of the Summer League Twitter.

Maker is by far and away the most intriguing player on this roster. Even after being selected #10 overall, Thon is still a relatively unknown prospect. He has not played against a ton of top-level competition, and the Summer League should show some of what Maker can be in the NBA. If Maker ends up playing well, then he will certainly earn a rotation spot in the Bucks front court. With his ability to stretch the floor and handle the ball at 7’1″, Maker has a lot of the versatility that the Bucks will need on their roster. However, if Maker struggles against the better competition, he could spend this season either riding the bench or playing in the D-League.

#13 Malcolm Brogdon – G, 6’5″

After being the star at Virginia, Brogdon was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft by the Bucks. For a team that struggled from behind the arc and defensively last year, Brogdon seems to be a great fit for Milwaukee. He shot the three-point shot at a 39% clip in his senior season at UVA while producing 18.2 points per game. He was also named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, marking him as the top defender in the country. Although he is old for a rookie at 23 years of age, Brogdon has lots of tools that he can bring to both this Summer League team and the Milwaukee Bucks roster for next season.

#20 Rashad Vaughn – G, 6’6″

So Vaughn did not have the best rookie season for the Bucks after being selected #17 overall last year. Still, the man is only 19 years old and has lots of room to improve. After shooting 38% from three in his one year at UNLV, people expected him to be a solid shooter at the next level, but his three-point percentage was below 30% in his rookie year. Vaughn, however, did have a good Summer League last season, and if he can get his confidence going in Vegas this year, we can expect to see better numbers and all-around improvement from the young shooting guard.

#50 Jared Berggren – C, 6’10”

Berggren was a double-digit scorer for the Wisconsin Badgers a few years ago, but that is yet to develop into an NBA career. Jared went undrafted in 2013 after a four-year career with the Badgers and is now entering his fourth trip through the Summer League. He has played in Italy for the previous two seasons, where he has put up reasonable numbers of 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game. At 6’10”, Berggren is a nice addition to the Summer League squad because of his interior presence. With that being said, however, Berggren will need to have a very nice stretch of games in order to secure a training camp invitation.

#42 Prince Ibeh – C, 6’10”

Ibeh is certainly not an elite scorer in the paint, but he is a very good defender. In his four years at Texas, he racked up 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes. If he can carry those skills over to the NBA, he could find a spot on a roster to come off the bench as a rim protector. If he can make his impact known in this Summer League as an interior presence alongside Maker’s ability to stretch the floor, Ibeh could see himself receiving a training camp invite from the Bucks or another team who has taken a liking to his play style.

Photo courtesy of DraftExpress.
Photo courtesy of DraftExpress.

#26 Le’Bryan Nash – F, 6’7″

Although Nash never lived up to the hype surrounding him at Oklahoma State, he had a stellar season in Japan this year. The 6’7″ small forward averaged 26.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game over there. This may not have come against the top-tier of players, but Nash could have a future in the NBA if he can put on a show in the Summer League. He is a very good athlete and with his rebounding skills for his size, he could prove to be a valuable asset as an energy player off the bench of an NBA team.

#41 Devin Williams – F, 6’9″

Williams may have gone undrafted this past season, but he certainly has a shot to make an NBA roster this season. He left college early after a junior season at West Virginia where he nearly averaged a double-double (13.3 and 9.5). He is an super athletic power forward who can really rebound the ball at 6’9″. Due to his incredible motor, Williams could carve out a decent role for himself in the NBA as an effort player off the bench.

#44 Terran Petteway – F, 6’6″

Petteway was an elite scorer while at Nebraska, averaging over 18 points per game in two separate seasons, but he is still fighting for his chance on an NBA roster. This will be his second Summer League appearance, and he will need to make the most his minutes by not only scoring, but scoring efficiently. In college, he was a volume shooter and scorer who wielded a usage rate of 33.3% in his senior year. He spent last season in the D-League, where he averaged 11.6 points per game, but he is going to need to show a lot of improvement during the Summer League in order to improve his status.

#3 Travis Trice – G, 6’2″

During his four-year career at Michigan State, Trice showed his ability to be a capable shooter, hitting almost 40% from three. However, he went undrafted last season and was unable to find a place on a roster during the regular season. He was a member of the Miami Heat’s Summer League team last year and was signed by the Knicks only to be waived after two preseason games. While in the D-League, Trice posted a respectable 15.3 points per game, but his 33.5% from three will need to improve if he is to find his spot as a “knockdown shooter” in the NBA.

#6 Ra’Shad James – G, 6’1″

At 26 years of age, the time remaining for James to live his dream of being an NBA player is ticking. He has been reasonably effective both overseas and in the D-League, but he will need to show significant improvement this offseason. Although he might be a long shot to make a roster, he cannot be ruled out. He is a pretty good shooter and in the NBA, shooting is at a premium. If he can light up the floor in the Summer League and in a training camp, then his chances of making a team go way up.

#23 Stephen Sir – F, 6’6″

Sir is an excellent three-point shooter. He shot a staggering 46.9% from three in his college career and has continued that success overseas. However, Sir is now 33-years-old, and it is very unlikely that he will make an appearance in the NBA this coming season. If he can knock down his looks in the Summer League he is a great veteran addition to that roster, but it doesn’t look like he will be joining the Bucks for next year.

#43 Joshua Smith – C, 6’10”

At 6’10”, 350 lbs, Smith is a big interior player. He had a solid college career at both UCLA and Georgetown before going undrafted last year. He enjoyed a solid Summer League campaign last year and played in seven preseason games for the Houston Rockets before being waived. If he shows more improvement from last season, Smith might find his way onto an NBA roster as an all-around big man who could provide some efficient minutes off the bench.

#25 Julyan Stone, G, 6’6″

Stone is one of the few players on this roster who already has some NBA play under his belt, although his last minutes came in 2014. Still, he has been shuffled through the NBA, D-League, and International play for the last several seasons. He is a solid all-around player who can be an efficient offensive player and play strong defense. At 27-years-old, it will be difficult for him to make a roster for next season, so a strong performance in the Summer League is essential.

With the 2016-2017 campaign coming up, there is a lot for Bucks fans to be excited about. With tons of young talent on this Summer League roster, these three games will be a great preview for what some of the future will look like alongside the core of Giannis, Jabari, and Khris.


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