There are exciting things on the horizon for the Milwaukee Bucks. They have new owners and a new stadium incoming.
With an unbelievable amount of young talent on their roster, in a few years the Bucks could be the talk of the league.
24, 24, 20, 25, 20. These are the ages of five of the most important players to the Bucks going forward. Khris Middleton, John Henson, Giannis Antetkounmpo, Greg Monroe, and Jabari Parker are the names behind these numbers.
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Starting with the two 24-year olds - two freaks of nature, physical abnormalities, even in the NBA. Middleton falls in at 6-foot-8 with 6-foot-10 wingspan. John Henson even more so with a 7-foot-6 wingspan.
Middleton is a secret weapon for the Bucks. He shot 47% from the field. A shot chart revealed that Middleton was taking the majority of his shots from where he knew he was strong; a strong indicator that even as a young player he has the ability to have a sound shot selection.
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On the defensive side one his most impressive stats came in the fact that shooters shot 4.3% worse than they normally did. His tall but strong figure allows him to be aggressive and still get a few blocks in, only 23.4% of the shots of people he guarded came from inside the paint.
Need more proof he's vital to the Bucks progression as a team? He just signed a five-year, $70 million contract with Milwaukee.
John Henson was a blocking machine for the Bucks. The absurdly tall player led the league in blocks with 4.0 shots blocked per 36 minutes last year. Straight-up wonderfully nasty.
While he had a little bit of trouble with 4.5 fouls per 36 minutes, he is still learning. He has shown impressive growth with coverage of the court. Unlike Middleton, he still needs some development when it comes to offense.
He didn't have the strongest year offensively last time out, but he shown impressive ability in protecting the rim and is on the rise as a player. Like Middleton, the Buck recognize his ability as they secured him for another four years with a $45 million dollar contract.
One of the youngest players on this list, Giannis Antetkounmpo is another defensive beast. The 6-foot-11 Greek player has been an absolutely indispensable part of the Bucks roster.
His talent, at the moment at least, lies in his ability to stop the other team dead in their tracks, but he showed that he has the ability to score and be a playmaker last year.
Similar to Henson, he can be everywhere on the court at once, blocking at one moment and rebounding the next.
If the Bucks can groom and develop his abilities on the offensive side, he can become one of the most well-rounded players in the league. In case you aren't convinced, at 6-foot-11, he is still growing.
Greg Monroe represents the offensive add-in the Bucks need.
They have a strong team defensively and when Monroe joined the Bucks it made them infinitely more balanced.
When the Bucks dealt offensive weapon Brandon Knight to Phoenix last year in the midst of his career year, some fans were confused, if not enraged.
What most fans didn't realize was the genius of the front office, with the season he was having, Knight would have the upper-hand in negotiations and requested what he wanted in a contract, a situation Milwaukee didn't want to be in.
With the departure of Knight, cap space was freed up for players like Middleton and eventually Greg Monroe.
Monroe is a strong offensive player. He does what he needs to, he is a contributing scorer and passer and does what he can.
In Milwaukee, he will have the opportunity to thrive with the slight lack in offensive prowess on the team, putting himself in the driver's seat of the offense. He is going to play a large role in the Bucks' rise in the NBA.
Jabari Parker is one of the players on the Bucks roster that they haven't been able to use to his full talent.
In the 25 games before tearing his ACL, Parker averaged 12.5 points per game. He is an offensive stud and, similarly to Monroe, one that the team needs.
Bucks fans should be reassured by the fact that his rehab is going well and will be ready for early season play. While the Buck might (should) be cautious at first with the potential franchise star, he will be an exciting addition to a team.
The Next Few Years
So while the Bucks might not be winning the NBA Finals this year, or maybe even next year, this young lineup of stars should excite Bucks fans and scare everyone else.
With the right coaching and chemistry, we could be looking at a team that could be the best in just a few short years.