The Milwaukee Bucks look like they could be the NBA’s up and coming team. The team is led by their young core of players, highlighted by all star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Currently, the team has ten players under the age of 26: Giannis Antetokounmpo (22), Jabari Parker (22), Rashad Vaughn (20), D.J. Wilson (21), Malcom Brogdon (24), Tony Snell (25), Khris Middleton (25), Sterling Brown (22), Thon Maker (20), and Gary Payton (24).
Last season, the team got an un expected boost from second round pick, Malcom Brogdon, who became the first second round pick since the common draft era began in 1966 to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Another stand out was rookie first round pick Thon Maker. During the first part of the year Maker hardly saw the court, but as the season wore on he started to get some minutes, finishing the regular season with 9.9 minutes per game. With how well he played down the stretch Maker earned himself the roll as starting center in the playoffs averaging: 19.3 minutes per game, 5.8 points per game, and 3.2 rebounds per game.
This years first round pick, D.J Wilson, brings a similar profile to the team; long, lanky, and athletic. The team has received some criticism for the pick, but he fits the Bucks draft profile, as witnessed in the past with Antetokounmpo and Maker. In this years summer league Wilson averaged: 11.8 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists per game. This performance gives the Bucks hope that he too could blossom into a good NBA player.
Along with all the young players the Bucks have, they also have a few veterans with salaries restricting them from brining in another piece to make them legit contenders. Those contracts include: Spencer Hawes at $5.7 million, John Henson at $12 million, Mirza Teletovic at $10.5 million, Matthew Dellavedova at $9.6 million, and Greg Monroe at $17.1 million. Those five players account for $54.9 million in salary for this upcoming season, and none of them have a starting role on the team. After this upcoming season they lose the contracts of Monroe and Hawes, followed by Teletovic in 2019, then Henson and Dellavedova in 2020.
Over the course of the next three years the Bucks should be in the playoffs each year, due to a weak Eastern Conference. This should give the team some good playoff experience, however, it will be extremely difficult for them to make it out of the Eastern Conference in the near future. For the 2020-2021 season the Bucks could be in a position to bring in another star, as a result of expiring contracts, to come join the young Bucks core that will be entering their prime years. If they can get that final piece, the Milwaukee Bucks should be legit NBA Title contenders for the 2020-2021 season.