Bucks Lead

Power Ranking the Bucks’ Roster

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Have you ever thought about how the Bucks current roster stacks up from worst to best? Least productive to most productive? If you said yes, you came to the right place. These rankings will be based on statistics, efficiency, and playing time. Let’s get started.

Jodie Meeks will not be part of the list, as he is expected to be waived after his suspension is up.

T-16th: Trevon Duval, G & Jaylen Morris, G

These two come in last not because they are poor players, but because we haven’t seem them play. Jaylen Morris & Trevon Duval are the Bucks two-way players, meaning they will be able to split time playing for Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Herd in Oshkosh. Morris attended Molloy College and played six games under Coach Bud in Atlanta in his rookie season last year. Duval attended Duke for one season, entered the draft this past offseason and was not selected, so the Bucks signed him. We will get a better idea of what they’re capable of when they play more games with the Herd and when they see any playing time with the Bucks.

No. 15: D.J. Wilson

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Photo: Milwaukee Bucks/NBA.com

Many still wonder if D.J. Wilson was a good draft selection. The Bucks selected Wilson with the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but he certainly hasn’t played like a first round draft pick so far. D.J. appeared in 22 games in during his rookie season, averaging just 3.2 minutes per game. He did shoot the ball well when he got the chance to play, with a field goal percentage of 56.3%. When playing for the Herd, he was a capable scorer (15.9 PPG), but still did not seem to look like a complete NBA-ready player. He is an undersized stretch-4, and we all know how Budenholzer likes his bigs that can shoot, so if any coach can make D.J. Wilson more valuable, it’s Bud.

No. 14: Christian Wood

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Photo: Associated Press

Christian won over Bucks fans hearts with his impressive and out-of-nowhere summer league play. That summer look earned him a spot on the Bucks training camp roster, and even more impressive play helped him beat out NBA veterans Tyler Zeller, Shabazz Muhammad and Tim Frazier for the Bucks’ final roster spot. But can he play like that in the games that matter? That is the question, and under limited playing time, he has been solid. Still, he will need to show us more in order to move up this list.

No. 13: Sterling Brown

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Photo: Associated Press

You may be thinking his ranking is a little low, but hear me out. He did look very promising last season. He is a phenomenal hustler, good shooter and has a high basketball IQ. Sterling was still very inconsistent, but that is expected amongst 2nd round rookies in the NBA. He isn’t ranked 13th because he is bad, he is ranked 13th because of how talented the Bucks entire roster is, and because he just needs more consistent shooting to be considered more valuable. So far, Budenholzer has not used Sterling much, so it is hard to tell if he has improved much this season, if at all.

No. 12: Thon Maker

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Photo: Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

If we were only talking about “Playoff Thon”, he would be top ten for sure. But regular season Thon still seems far from where his supposed potential puts him. He has a phenomenal shooting stroke, hustles like few others, and protects the rim very well. Despite all of that, though, he still struggles when he is on the floor. One problem seems to be that he isn’t grown into his body. He also looks somewhat uncoordinated, has a hard time catching hard passes and bringing in rebounds. He still shows flashes of being a monster, but he needs to be far more consistent to move up this list.

No. 11: Matthew Dellavedova

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Photo: Milwaukee Bucks/NBA.com

Delly was brought into Milwaukee in 2016 after winning a championship with LeBron James and the Cavaliers the year before. He was expected to be the Bucks new starting point guard after the trade of Michael Carter-Williams for Tony Snell, but Malcolm Brogdon quickly took that role from him. Known as a gritty defender, good passer, three point shooter and “Steph stopper”, he still has his share of flaws. Inconsistency is also one of his weaknesses, and some poor decision making. He is still a solid bench guard, but his $9.6M salary would say he should be more productive.

No. 10: Pat Connaughton

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Image via Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Pat is known as a good shooter with some “sneaky athleticism”– two things that have occurred so far with the Bucks. After playing well in garbage time in the first couple games, he earned a spot in the rotation. Pat is knocking down threes, and has some nice highlight dunks already this year. He is a good rebounder for his size and provides solid effort, but he sometimes struggles defensively. Connaughton is still a good role player though, and he fits Bud’s scheme very well.

No. 9: Tony Snell

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Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today

Tony was acquired shortly before the 2016-17 season from the Bulls for Michael Carter-Williams. He came in and shot the lights out from behind the arc while also being a very solid defender. That season earned him a contract extension worth about $11 million per year. His second season, however, he was not quite the same. He still had a high percentage from three, but he was very up and down all season. Some nights he would hit everything he shot, some nights he would airball several shots. Inconsistency is a common theme among the second half of these rankings.

No. 8: John Henson

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Photo: ESPN.com

Who would have thought that John Henson would one day be shooting threes in an actual NBA game? That’s what bigs need to learn how to do in today’s NBA, and he has taken the challenge and ran with it. Henson is the Bucks longest tenured player — been with the team since his rookie year in 2012 — and his game hadn’t really evolved until the start of this season. He is a skilled post player with good rim protection, and now he is developing a jumper. Even after seven years of being a decent bench option for the center position — though he was a starter for part of it because of the Bucks’ lack of talent at that position –, he may finally be becoming a more all-around player.

No. 7: Donte DiVincenzo

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Photo: Morry Gash/Associated Press

The Bucks have finally found an immediately productive first round draft pick. In the Giannis era, just Donte and Jabari have produced right away. Donte’s biggest claim to fame is his 31 points off of the bench for Villanova in the NCAA National Championship game. He was surrounded with several questions after being selected by the Bucks– Is he actually NBA ready? Was that one huge game a fluke?

While he hasn’t scored 31 points in a game yet, he has been very solid at every aspect of basketball. He is shooting well, making smart passes, rebounding and defending. He even had to chase J.J. Redick around for about twenty minutes, which is never easy to do. He also struggled mightily while trying to guard C.J. McCollum, so there is obviously a lot of room for improvement. Still, he is looking like he can be a very good player for a very long time.

No. 6: Brook Lopez

Photo: Associated Press

Brook is a very good fit for this team. He spaces the floor amazingly for guys like Giannis, Bledsoe and Brogdon, who can penetrate the lane with ease. Defenses have to respect his three-point shot, thus opening up the lane. So far, he has been up and down scoring wise, but he has been a very capable scorer his whole career, even before he developed his jumper. His rebounding numbers are abnormally low for a starting center, but it isn’t necessarily because he is a bad rebounder. Brook always find the biggest guy and boxes him out to make it easier for someone else to grab the board. He is a phenomenal team rebounder and is a big offensive weapon, and he is pretty good at protecting the rim as well. Look for him to make a bigger impact as the season goes on.

No. 5: Ersan Ilyasova

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Photo: Associated Press

Ersan, like Brook, is also a great fit for this team. He spaces the floor, defends and rebounds well. The man shows up, hits a few high arcing threes, makes some offensive rebound tip-ins, takes a few charges and leaves. He does everything well. He is 25-2 in his last 27 regular season NBA games. That obviously isn’t only because of him, but he had a key role in every single one of those games.

No. 4: Malcolm Brogdon

Bob Carr/Getty Images

Malcolm Brogdon is just so good. Deceivingly quick, great shooting from deep, and a stout defender– he does it all. Malcolm is one of the most efficient players on the team. He takes high quality shots, gets to the rim with ease, and is always able to find the open guy. He is one of the best combo guards in the league, and is a huge asset for this Bucks team. Sure, he isn’t the most flashy or physically gifted, but man can the guy play.

No. 3: Eric Bledsoe

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Photo: ESPN.com

Eric Bledsoe, the author of the infamous “I Dont wanna be here” tweet. Bledsoe was acquired by the Bucks from the Suns last season for Greg Monroe and a 2nd round draft pick. Since arriving, he was questioned for his effort, care to win, and fit with the team. Under the new coaching staff, however, he seems revitalized. He is shooting less but still efficiently, sharing the ball more, and is always active on defense. Some nights, on the offensive side, he struggles. Every player does, but for whatever reason, he seems to get the most hate for his occasional bad nights, maybe aside from Tony Snell. Being with the Bucks is the first time he has had a high quality NBA coach and a high quality roster around him, elevating his stellar play even more.

No. 2: Khris Middleton

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Photo: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

It is crazy to think that Khris Middleton was the throw in player from the Brandon JenningsBrandon Knight swap before the 2013-14 NBA season. Now, he is by far the best player in that deal, and he is just getting started. He is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. He can score from anywhere on the floor, and he is also a good ball handler and leader. The Bucks are lucky to have him and need to pay him as soon as possible.

No. 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Photo: USA.GreekReporter.com

Yep, you guessed it. Not much needs to be said. Everybody knows what this man is capable of. He is the best in the NBA at scoring in the paint, has the handles of a point guard with the height of a center, and is very smart with the ball. He is a bonafide superstar, and as he continues to get more comfortable in the new Mike Budenholzer system, he is only going to get better. Not only will he learn that he can rely on his teammates more and he doesn’t always need to try to score through three defenders, but he will also develop his jumper even more. We are watching a future MVP and hall of famer every time he laces them up.

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About Nick Niles

I'm Nick Niles! I was born in Green Bay Wisconsin, raised in Appleton Wisconsin, and now I'm back in Green Bay at UW-GB studying Political Science and Public Administration. I have been a huge Bucks fan for as long as I have been alive, and I'm also passionate about writing. Twitter: @Bucks_Deluxe | @Nilesmania

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