The Milwaukee Bucks will have their final summer league contest played sometime this weekend to wrap up their five-game slate in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the moment, they’re within a four-team tie for first place in the standings with a 3-1 record. So, there’s still an outside chance they’ll be playing for some championship hardware on July 17.
As of now, the focus will be on analyzing the overall performance level of Milwaukee’s summertime roster. Here are four takeaways from the squad’s recent four-game stretch inside the Sin City.
1. MarJon Beauchamp Is A 2023 NBA Draft Steal
Beauchamp was viewed by many as a potential lottery prospect coming out of the G-League. The 6’6 wing has all the tools of an instant 3&D contributor as a rookie with the long-term upside pro scouts salivate over. Milwaukee was fortunate enough to draft him in the backend of the first round, and he hasn’t disappointed during his first four outings in Vegas.
The 21-year-old Seattle native jumpstarted his professional career with 16 points on 50% shooting in the team’s first game of the 2023 Summer League versus the Brooklyn Nets. He made half of his six three-point attempts including a couple of fourth quarter daggers to subdue a late nets’ rally.
There have been some moments of underwhelming performances for the young Beauchamp, but he’s shot at least 50% from the field or from distance in three of the four games he’s played. Efficiency from deep is important for the rookie standout as is his stretches of brilliance as an on-ball/off ball offensive game changer. Safe to say MJB will find a ton of quality playing time in Milwaukee’s veteran rotation sooner rather than later.
2. Sandro Mamukelashvili Is Earning His Roster Spot
Mamukelashvili has seized the moment in Las Vegas with nightly virtuosos as the Bucks’ primary scoring option. The former second-round pick from Seton Hall spent much of his rookie season in the G-League evolving his craft as an NBA stretch big. During the summer league, all of his hard work is on display and being highlighted for the entire Milwaukee front office to see.
He followed up his 28-point performance during the team’s loss to Boston with a double-double showcase that lead the Bucks in scoring (18) and rebounding (15) en-route to a 87-75 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since the completion of his 19-point outing versus the Dallas Mavericks, Mamukelashvili has averaged a team-high 20.5 points per game through the four matchups.
While the great play serves as evidence that Mamu deserves a roster spot with the 2022-2023 Bucks, the pathway to him getting one remains somewhat blurry. Mamukelashvili is currently a non-guaranteed cap-hold that’s making less than two million dollars. Safe to assume a raise is in store for the Georgian-American as well as a more secured roster spot at the four behind recently re-signed Bucks’ Bobby Portis and Serge Ibaka.
3. Lindell Wigginton is Justifying His Two-Way Contract
In the team’s latest summer league matchup, Wigginton made over half of his 14 shots and finished with a game-high 25 points in his first action as a summer league starter this season. Throughout his Vegas gameplay, he’s been a steady offensive source as a playmaker and scorer off the bench.
Recently, the Canadian product re-signed with the Bucks on an Exhibit 10 deal. The transaction opens the door for Wigginton to make it back onto the Bucks’ main roster as a two-way player this upcoming season. His steady showing as a talent can make that road back to the NBA an achievable reality if his strong showing continues through summer league and training camp.
4. Coach Bud Needs To Give the Young Guys Run
Milwaukee’s 3-1 summer league campaign has highlighted that they have quite a few young NBA prospects on stash that can help fill out their second unit rotation in-house. The question now becomes will Coach Bud allow the young guys to get some burn to help the team manage the dog days of the regular season?
Wigginton and Mamukelashvili barely cracked the rotation when they were on the roster, and it’s a known fact Mike Budenholzer tends to lean on his veterans for production outside of his core guys. With the talent displayed by their last two draft prospects and recent two-way player in Las Vegas, it shouldn’t be justifiable to see these players not get consistent and meaningful run throughout the year.
The Miami Heat arguably made the conference finals this past year, because they relied on their in-house development throughout the season. The Bucks won’t have to venture into their undrafted pool entirely to make some magic happen, but Coach Bud should be more open-minded this season on building trust and establishing development throughout the entire roster.
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