The Milwaukee Bucks are currently a team on the rise. They have spent the last four years putting the current roster together and building a winner on, and off the court as well. With the collection of extremely young and lengthy athletes, the Bucks are ready to take that next step.
Here are a few things Milwaukee should do in order to transform this team into a dynasty:
The Bucks currently possess one of the most coveted players in the NBA in the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 23-year-old, 7-foot, MVP candidate, who possesses the ball skills of a point guard with the body of a center. Giannis is capable of playing all five positions in basketball, both on offense and defense — better than the majority of players can play their respective position. Along with Giannis, the Bucks also trot out the likes of a 6’8” shooting guard/forward who’s averaging over 20 points a night, all while playing elite defense often times against the opponents best player, Khris Middleton.
With these two stars, the Bucks also possess a 20-year-old, 7-footer, Thon Maker. Maker can stretch the floor on offense, all while blocking shots with his 7-foot wingspan on the defensive end. On top of Maker, the Bucks wield reigning rookie of the year, Malcolm Brogdon, and, Eric Bledsoe, who is a fringe All-Star point guard capable of delivering 20 points and a topnotch defensive effort any given night he steps onto the court.
While many could look at the collection of players the Bucks have and speculate this group could end up competing for a championship in a few years, a few tweaks could be made to assure that this team, without any decimating injuries or unforeseen events, will be the champions of basketball in the next few seasons.
First of all, while the Bucks do possess the young Maker for the center position, he is still very raw, and is far from fulfilling his true potential. This is why the first move to improve the Bucks would be to trade for Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers. In order for this move to come into fruition, the Bucks would have to part ways with former number 2 overall pick, Jabari Parker.
While this might upset most fans of both teams, this trade makes more sense the more you dig deeper. On the Bucks side, yes, Jabari has the potential to be one of the best scorers in the league, but with two major knee injuries in the last three years, Jabari is a bit of a mystery when it comes to his future. Parker also struggles to flow well with Giannis, as both require the ball to score, and players with an inefficiency on the defensive side of the ball. Adding Turner would give the Bucks a huge upgrade at the center position, as Turner is already one of the best rim protectors in the league at the ripe age of 21, and exerts an offensive repertoire that would be just what Milwaukee needs. While giving up on the duo of Jabari and Giannis would hurt, the addition of Turner would help this team out immensely.
After shipping out one of the best offensive players in the league, the Bucks would have a bit of a hole at the forward position with just Antetokounmpo and Middleton as the only above average forward talents on the roster. With this in mind, the perfect player is sitting in this years draft class, and after a year or two could, arguably, be one of the best forwards in the NBA, alongside Antetokounmpo. Michael Porter Jr, out of Missouri, came into this year’s college season as the number one prospect in basketball, with even some giving him the title as the best prospect since Lebron James. Unfortunately for Porter, he was struck with an injury even before competing in his first real college basketball game. While he returned to action for the NCAA tournament, he played sporadically in the short time he was out on the court. This injury has bumped Porter down a bit in the minds of NBA teams drafting at the top of the draft this coming year.
While this slip clearly hurts Porter’s rankings, this is a blessing in disguise for the Bucks. While the Bucks don’t have a first round draft pick this year, they could package two later firsts, a second or two, and this last year’s first round pick, DJ Wilson. Anything the Bucks would give up would be a steal since they’d be getting the best player from this draft, and the perfect sidekick for Antetokounmpo.
Porter Jr. would need his first year to get accustomed to life in the NBA, as well as getting his body back into playing conditions. However, come the following year and the Bucks would be staring at an absolutely dominant player backed by a breakout year. The 6’10 forward could spread the floor with his smooth shooting, but also keeping the defense honest with his quick first step. Pairing him and Antetokounmpo would offer easily the most dominant forward pairing in the NBA.
With a starting lineup consisting of two way stars, Bledsoe and Middleton at the guards, MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Porter Jr. rounded out with Myles Turner down low, this starting lineup immediately is competing for the best in the NBA.
While the starting lineup is obviously the strength of this team, they still could offer a solid bench unit to go along with those five.
Malcolm Brogdon offers his two-way talent at the guard spot, while Sterling Brown and Tony Snell offer up knock down shooting and solid defense from the wing spots, and finally rounding this group out with Maker, who could eventually rise over Turner and be the X Factor for this Bucks roster, seemingly gives them the opportunity for strictly greatness in front of them.
Giving this very young team a couple years to gel and grow into their NBA bodies and alongside their roles on the team, this team could be one of the NBA’s best for years to come.