August 11, 2022

When Jrue Holiday signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the Bucks in April 2021, he solidified the franchise’s future and cemented his place in the Bucks’ big three with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. A few months later, the Bucks won an NBA championship, and Holiday secured her place in franchise history.

With Holiday potentially under contract through the 2024-25 season barring injury, the Bucks have 30-35 minutes of elite point guard play locked away for the foreseeable future. So what else do they need in this position? What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses as a point guard? And who could they potentially find in the 2022 NBA draft that could help them in that position?

Let’s take a closer look.

Strengths weaknesses

Earlier this week, we rated each of the point guards who finished the season on the Bucks roster, but those individual ratings don’t paint the full picture of what the Bucks need to move forward. So before we get into the players the Bucks could potentially draft at No. 24, let’s take a closer look at what the Bucks will need from the position next season.

Holiday is one of the hardest hitting point defenders in the league and a strong and effective offensive player. George Hill will participate in the second season of a two-year, $8 million deal with the Bucks and, while he has no bird rights over him, they will also have the option of signing Jevon Carter to the agency. free. Bucks point guards are defensively strong, so the Bucks wouldn’t necessarily need to look for a point guard who can lock down their opponents, but that’s largely just an expectation under. Mike Budenholzer. Players who can’t reach Budenholzer’s level defensively rarely get a real chance.

On offense, Holiday became a bigger part of what the Bucks did every night and was able to play with the ball in his hands more often in his second season with the Bucks. But the same couldn’t be said for the Bucks’ other options at point guard. Whether it was Hill, Carter or Lindell Wigginton, the rest of the playmakers on the roster continued to be treated as off-ball players rather than something resembling a general on the ground. Part of that decision is certainly Budenholzer’s preference to allow Antetokounmpo and Middleton to drive the ball up, but it’s also a testament to the group’s respective abilities on the attacking side.

Needs at Point Guard

Disclaimer: Need drafting is an easy way to get at a player who isn’t good enough. Teams should not do this. They need to seek out the best player possible and develop that player to reach their highest potential, even if that version of the player doesn’t fit perfectly with the team as it is currently structured. The league changes quickly. The lists are renewed each off-season. Free agency allows a team to target more proven players to meet their needs, so signing a player to a “need” position just to fill the roster is a bad idea.

As long as Antetokounmpo is on the roster, the Bucks will be title contenders. It’s important to keep this in mind because it immediately means that certain standards must be met by drafted players.

While there are exceptions to every rule because sometimes elite talent trumps any preconceived notions we may have about playoff basketball, the Bucks are going to need point guards who have size. If a player can be targeted on the defensive side of the floor, opponents will find that player in the playoffs and exploit them. That’s not to say the Bucks can only sign big point guards or prospects with elite defensive skills, but while other teams might be able to look away from a lackluster defensive contribution, it will be more. difficult for a team supposed to go deep. playoffs.

Offensively, the Bucks could use a more offensive creation, and selecting a playmaker who can shake things up in the pick-and-roll would make them look different in the playoffs. In the playoffs, it becomes more difficult to create hits, so find players who can create something for themselves or others in the pick-and-roll, and then create for themselves or others isolated way against a switch defense could end up being incredibly useful. That might require the Bucks to get smaller overall, but with Holiday’s strength and size, they could play a point guard alongside Holiday in the playoffs and likely still have enough size to compete.

And while it’s probably self-evident at this point, players expected to play alongside Antetokounmpo should be able to shoot from a distance. Post-season defenses have made it clear that they will do everything in their power to prevent Antetokounmpo from getting to the edge, which means they will happily create longer fences for themselves on teammates. ‘Antetokounmpo.

Outlook

There aren’t a ton of point guards in the 2022 draft, which makes finding potential players for the Bucks to pick up at No. 24 a bit difficult. Still, we’ll start at the top and work our way down. at the Bucks range.

The draft is fluid and there is no way of knowing exactly how things will go, but it seems safe to assume that Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite) and Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) are types of point guards who are going to be drafted in the top 20, if not all the way to the lottery. It’s hard to imagine a world where any of these three players fall into the Bucks’ lineup at No. 24.

After that, things get a little murkier and there will be a few possibilities for the Bucks at No. 24. (Note: This is not an exhaustive list of the leaders in the draft, but rather four that are currently ranked somewhere between 15 and 40 in Sam Vecenie’s latest mock draft and at least some sort of playmaker.)

TyTy Washington – 6-3, 20, freshman, Kentucky
No. 15 on Vecenie Big Board, mocked No. 17 in Houston

20-year-old 6-foot-3 guard optimists will point to the long list of Kentucky guards β€” recent examples include Tyler Herro and Tyrese Maxey β€” coached by John Calipari who have performed better in the pros than they have done in college.

There will probably be someone who believes in Washington and the numbers he got in his first 17 games (14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game with 51.5/42/ 82% shot distribution) rather than his struggles in the second half of the season after a few ankle injuries slowed him down.

Jaden Hardy – 6-4, 19, G League Ignite
No. 30 on Vecenie Big Board, mocked No. 23 in Brooklyn

Including Hardy with the point guards is nice. Hardy isn’t a traditional point guard, but he’s a smaller guard who can make play based on his ability to create his own shot, so it would have been even more wrong to include him in the breakdown of next week with the wings. Hardy is first and foremost a goalscorer.

Due to his scoring ability, the 19-year-old can play for others. He has legitimate NBA reach and can even hit pull-up 3s off the rebound in the pick-and-roll, which could put opposing defenses in a tight spot and potentially open passing lanes for Hardy. If he is to succeed at the next level, Hardy will need to master his shot selection, become a more willing passer and defend better. But there seems to be a real scoring advantage and, as we saw in the playoffs, being able to get a bucket will always give players a chance to make a playoff impact.

Kennedy Chandler – 6-0, 19, freshman, Tennessee
No. 29 on Vecenie Big Board, mocked No. 27 in Miami

Standing just over 6 feet tall, Chandler might struggle to gain ground late in the opening round. Like the Bucks, other teams recruiting from this area will be aware of the possibility that Chandler just isn’t big enough to defend in the playoffs, even though he was a solid defender in Tennessee, especially on the ball, and averaging 2.2 interceptions. in 30.2 minutes per game.

Although Chandler may not be the greatest point guard, he is a spectacular athlete and has posted the maximum maximum vertical (41.5 inches), second fastest shuttle run (2.89 seconds) and the fifth fastest lane agility drill (10.73 seconds) at the 2022 NBA Combine. Combined numbers aren’t everything, but Chandler’s athleticism comes across absolutely the same on film. Chandler skillfully changed pace to create openings for himself to use his physical skills and go all the way to the edge and also manipulated defenses to open up his teammates. If teams think he can hold his own physically in defense, there’s a lot to like on the attacking side.

Dalen Terry – 6-7, 19 – freshman, Arizona
No. 28 on Vecenie Big Board, mocked No. 39 in Cleveland

Terry has started all 37 games for Arizona this season, 31 of those 37 games featuring Kerr Knisa as point guard. So while Terry didn’t fill a pure point guard role with the Wildcats, it would be hard to suggest that his game in his prime looked like a different position.

Terry has a rare combination of skills. His running gait is a bit unusual (as is his shooting), but his jerky movements and vision as a passer make him incredibly dangerous. Often serving as Arizona’s playmaker, Terry averaged 3.9 assists per game to just 1.4 turnovers. Besides being a good passer, Terry can use his athleticism and wingspan (7-foot-2) to get to the edge.

On top of that, with his speed and length, Terry was named an All-Defense selection in the Pac-12. There are real concerns about his jump shot and his strength, but Terry does a lot of things well and plays both sides of the ball. His size and skill set present a real opportunity for teams towards the end of the first round to find a player who can contribute early in his career but also still has room to grow as a player in the future. .

(Photo by TyTy Washington and Kennedy Chandler: Jordan Prather/USA Today)