Bucks

What’s Their Age Again? The Surprising Truth about the Bucks

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The Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the NBA this season (at least in terms of regular season record). The team is led by 25-year-old superstar in the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the soon-to-be back-to-back MVP leading the charge and key role players like Donte DiVincenzo just hitting their stride early in their careers, there is plenty of youth to be seen on the Bucks squad.

So, you would think the Bucks are spring chickens when it comes to the rest of the league, right? Well, no – they’re actually far from it.

This actually starts with their opening lineup, as their ages come out like so:

  • PG: Eric Bledsoe (30)
  • SG: Wes Matthews (33)/Donte DiVincenzo (23)
  • SF: Khris Middleton (28)
  • PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (25)
  • C: Brook Lopez (31)

That is a starting lineup age of either 29.4 or 27.4, depending on who starts between DiVincenzo and Matthews, but that is at most two starters over the age of 30. In the following example, though, we are going to go with the first of those two numbers. I perused Basketball Reference and, with a couple notable exceptions listed below, plotted out each team’s average starting lineup age based on the five players with the most games started this year. So, without further ado:

Eastern Conference

  • Milwaukee: 29.4 Oldest in East
  • Toronto: 28.0
  • Boston: 25.8
  • Miami: 25.6
  • Indiana: 25.2 (Includes Oladipo)
  • Philadelphia: 26.8
  • Brooklyn: 26.6
  • Orlando: 24.6
  • Washington: 26.0
  • Charlotte: 23.6
  • Chicago: 23.8
  • New York: 26.6
  • Detroit: 25.8 (Includes Blake Griffin)
  • Atlanta: 21.2 Youngest in East/Youngest in NBA
  • Cleveland: 24.8

Western Conference

  • LA Lakers: 30.8
  • LA Clippers: 27.2
  • Denver: 26.8
  • Utah: 27.6
  • Oklahoma City: 26.6
  • Houston: 30.0 (Covington instead of Capela)
  • Dallas: 26.6
  • Memphis: 24.0
  • Portland: 31.2 Oldest in West/Oldest in NBA
  • New Orleans: 24.0
  • Sacramento: 26.6
  • San Antonio: 27.4
  • Phoenix: 24.4 (Ayton instead of Baynes)
  • Minnesota: 22.2 (Russell-Beasley-Okogie-Culver-Towns) Youngest in West
  • Golden State: 26.8 (Curry-Lee-Wiggins-Paschall-Green)

Pretty crazy, right? The even bigger difference for a team like Milwaukee, though, comes from their bench, as every major bench contributor outside of Pat Connaughton (27) is above the age of 30. These include:

  • Robin Lopez (31)
  • Ersan Ilyasova (32)
  • Marvin Williams (33)
  • George Hill (33)
  • Kyle Korver (38)

This veteran presence and age is certainly not uncommon for a championship squad, but it is a newer thing for the Bucks to be experiencing. Milwaukee is the third-oldest team in the league, with an average age of 28.73. As recently as the 2015-16 season, the Bucks were the second-youngest team in the league, with an average age of just 23.5 years old. The oldest player on that squad? 32-year-old Steve Novak. In fact, the oldest player to average over 20 minutes per game was Greivis Vasquez, who was only 29 years old. It also doesn’t hurt matters when the five players who started the most games on your team were 25 or younger, though, does it?

Things become more interesting, however, when you look at the contract situations of Milwaukee’s bench players and veterans:

  • George Hill: 2 years/$19.6M remaining
  • Donte DiVincenzo: 2 years/$7.7M remaining ($4.7M team option in 2021-22)
  • Wesley Matthews: $2.7M player option for 2020-21
  • Pat Connaughton: Unrestricted Free Agent
  • Kyle Korver: Unrestricted Free Agent
  • Ersan Ilyasova: 1 year/$7M remaining (nonguaranteed)
  • Marvin Williams: $1.73M cap hold in 2020-21
  • Robin Lopez: $5M player option for 2020-21

So, looking at the above list, Pat Connaughton could be the highest priority for the Bucks of the players that the Bucks are, for sure, going to have to fight to retain this offseason, with Kyle Korver also being in the mix. At 39 years old, however, it would be interesting with his current role on the team if either side would balk at the idea of his return. For example, say Korver and someone like Marvin Williams would leave in free agency this summer, who could the Bucks potentially replace them with? For Korver, perhaps a Thabo Sefolosha, who has played under Budenholzer before, or a returning Jared Dudley could be a replacement to look into. Looking at a big man to replace Marvin Williams, someone like a Mike Muscala — if he were to decline his player option — would fit well into Coach Bud’s stretch big system.

At the end of the day, are the Bucks as notably young as they used to be? No, not this year. However, do they have a potentially perfect storm of dynamic young players, players entering their prime, and veterans to bring some much-needed playoff experience to the table? Absolutely, and that is a storm that Milwaukee and their fans can only hope leads to a championship at the end.

Follow us on Twitter @BucksLead for the latest Bucks news and insight.

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