Initial Post-Draft Depth Chart for Milwaukee Bucks
Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have drafted the players they want for the future, it's time to look ahead and see how those players will fit on the 2014-15 depth chart.
With a long offseason ahead, there are still plenty of moves that the franchise can make to improve the roster, but most things are in place.
The team got its face of the franchise with the second overall pick in Jabari Parker and will look to build around him in the coming years.
With new ownership, discussions of a new arena and a solid core of youth, things finally appear to be headed in the right direction for the Bucks.
Based on players who were just drafted and those who are under contract for 2014-15, here's how you can expect the depth chart to look come opening night.
On a side note, role players are listed in the likely order of which they'll come off the bench.
Starter: Brandon Knight
Backup: Nate Wolters
Brandon Knight is coming off a 2013-14 season where he posted career numbers across the board. After shouldering the scoring load for a team that was horrendous on the offensive end, he will certainly welcome the addition of Jabari Parker.
Parker's presence should also help spread the court even more and allow Knight to continue to attack the rim.
Nate Wolters, Knights' backup, had a surprisingly good rookie season, averaging 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. More impressive was his able to play without turning the ball over—he committed just one turnover per game.
Knight and Wolters should continue their improvement and help solidify the point guard position for the Bucks moving forward.
Don't be surprised to see the team make a play for a better backup through free agency, though. Two possibilities are bringing back Shaun Livingston—who played for the Bucks in 2011-12—or inking Greivis Vasquez to a deal.
Starter: O.J. Mayo
Role Players: N/A
The biggest thing the Bucks needed to address after drafting their franchise game-changer with the second overall pick was depth at shooting guard.
O.J. Mayo's inaugural season with the team didn't go quite as well as management probably hoped. The former third overall pick averaged just 11.7 points on 40.7 percent shooting from the floor and failed to capitalize on the momentum he gained in 2012-13 with the Dallas Mavericks.
With the 48th pick of the draft, the Bucks selected shooting guard Lamar Patterson from the University of Pittsburgh, but according to ESPN's Chad Ford, they have since traded that pick to the Atlanta Hawks for a future second-rounder.
That leaves Mayo as the only true shooting guard on the roster and should leave fans scratching their heads.
The team's 31st pick was wasted on a small forward from France, Damien Inglis, who may never even suit up, and the Bucks addressed their interior needs at No. 36.
Milwaukee should have some spending money on hand over the summer, but it will be hard to lure any significant free agent to town. Not to mention, there aren't a whole lot of options at the 2 as far as free agency goes.
Starter: Jabari Parker
Role Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Carlos Delfino, Chris Wright, Damien Inglis
Jabari Parker just may be the most versatile offensive player in this year's draft, and the Bucks nabbed him with the second pick. That's great news for an offense that ranked 28th in points per game.
His upside may not be as high as that of Andrew Wiggins, but a simplified statement like that is a slap in the face of Parker.
The 19-year-old Chicago native has plenty of potential, and as long as he can improve on the defensive end, he should be a perennial All-Star for years to come.
Outside of Parker, the Bucks have a bit of a logjam at small forward.
Khris Middleton had a productive 2013-14, and Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo has a world of potential that he has not yet tapped into.
Carlos Delfino was injured all of last season and is on the books through 2015-16, but look for the Bucks to unload him at some point during the summer.
Keep in mind that Parker could start at the 4, or Antetokounmpo could start at the 2, but this scenario is probably the most likely from the get-go.
Starter: John Henson
Role Players: Ersan Ilyasova, Jeff Adrien, Ekpe Udoh, Johnny O'Bryant
John Henson didn't have as big of a breakout 2013-14 season as I expected him to have, but he still showed signs of improvement. He averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 blocks on 53.8 percent shooting while providing the team with a legitimate scoring option from the low block.
Aside from Henson, the Bucks are thin at power forward unless you lump Parker in at this position as well.
Ersan Ilyasova will likely be traded at some point, and while Jeff Adrien had a very nice stint down the stretch, it's unrealistic to expect him to produce at the level he did in his 28 games with the Bucks.
Ekpe Udoh has a qualifying offer of nearly $6 million and likely won't make near that much anywhere else, so the Bucks might also need to find a suitor for him if they don't want to endure another year of very limited production.
Freshly drafted Johnny O'Bryant out of LSU adds another bruising type body to the rotation of power forwards. At 6'8" and 257 pounds, he has a good frame and may see the floor in blowouts.
Starter: Larry Sanders
Role Players: Zaza Pachulia, Miroslav Raduljica
A year ago, the Bucks thought they had their center of the future.
A year later, that's in limbo.
After several injuries and an incident during the early hours of the morning at a Milwaukee night club, Larry Sanders' future with the team is still in question, even after he survived the draft without being traded.
That doesn't change the fact that he is a game-changer on defense with his shot blocking, but he'll need to stay healthy and out of trouble in 2014-15 for him to show those skills again.
Backing him up is veteran Zaza Pachulia and second-year man Miroslav Raduljica.
It's unlikely the Bucks will be able to get rid of Pachulia due to his massive $5.2 million contract, so they're likely stuck with his services.
He and Raduljica provide the team with a tough, interior presence, though, which is a nice contrast to the long, lanky physiques of Henson and Sanders.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
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