NBA rumors: It’s no secret that the Milwaukee Bucks had an ultimately disappointing campaign in 2022-23. This is exactly why they have gone out to make some big moves this offseason with the hopes of bouncing back in the upcoming campaign.
Generally, the Bucks made sure to retain their same core, which speaks volumes of how much trust the organization has in the current roster. As they always say, why fix something when it isn’t broken?
NBA Rumors: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Center?
Be that as it may, NBA insider Eric Nehm of The Athletic has explored a trio of intriguing lineups for the Bucks to employ in 2023-24. The one that stands out is a significant positional switch for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could potentially take on the role of a center in Nehm’s proposed small-ball lineup:
“There will always be great fascination around putting Giannis Antetokounmpo at center. With Antetokounmpo’s poor outside shooting, putting him at center and getting four shooters or playmakers on the floor will always be one of the best ways for the Bucks to play at a fast pace, spread the floor and defend well enough to take advantage of teams with a quick-hitting spread offensive attack,” Nehm wrote.
According to the proposal, the lineup will consist of Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, Khris Middleton, Jae Crowder, and Giannis at the five. Nehm points out that in spite of their lack of size, players like Connaughton and Crowder have proven to be capable of matching up against bigger opposition. However, the biggest draw of this major switch is allowing the Bucks to surround Giannis with four shooters, thereby making this iteration a very potent threat on the offensive end.
NBA Rumors: No Room for Brook Lopez?
Last season, Coach Mike Budenholzer did not use Giannis Antetokounmpo at center very often. He relied on a more traditional big man in Brook Lopez, who obviously, is still expected a key role in new head coach Adrian Griffin’s system. After all, one of the biggest decisions the Bucks front office made in the offseason was to sign the 7-foot center to a $48 million extension for the next two years.
Simply put, employing Giannis at center would mean less playing time for Brook Lopez. Are the Bucks ready to make this switch? Lopez is now 35 and while he’s no spring chicken, the former All-Star still remains to be one of the top rim protectors in the NBA. Will Milwaukee be willing to sacrifice this in favor of a Giannis-led small-ball lineup?
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