After the Bucks’ early exit in the 2020 playoffs, everyone knew changes in player personnel would be made. No one, though, knew who would be brought in and/or how it would be done. One thing was for sure, though: the Bucks needed to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with players that would help him win a title.
Many fans assumed that Chris Paul and Bogdon Bogdanovic would be good fits on the team. In fact, the Bucks were rumored to have a trade in place for Bogdanovic, which ultimately fell through and led to a tampering penalty for Milwaukee. When the dust settled, though, the Bucks’ roster is strong now without those two players.
Jrue Holiday Is a Better Fit for the Bucks
One of the most widely reported stories in the Bucks’ offseason was Giannis’ list. This list, which he gave to Bucks’ ownership, had the names of players that he wanted to play with. While the list has not been made public, it is widely believed Chris Paul was not on it. For a variety of reasons that are mostly subjective, it is not believed that Giannis and Paul would get along.
However, the fact of the matter is that the Bucks upgraded their backcourt by trading for Jrue Holiday instead. The price was steep: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and three first-round picks. The early returns show promise, and it is looking like a terrific deal for the Bucks.
One reason for this is age. Holiday is a lot younger than Paul and is more likely to stay around longer. Of course, Holiday only has an option left on his contract beyond this season, but all signs are pointing to an extension being signed when he becomes eligible for one in March.
This will give the Bucks a Big Three of Giannis, Holiday, and Khris Middleton for years to come. That is arguably one of the best trios to build a championship team around.
The Emergence of Donte DiVincenzo in the Bucks Lineup
When the supposed sign and trade for Bogdanovic was first reported, it included Donte DiVincenzo being sent to the Kings. As it turns out, the trade did not happen and Bogdanovic was traded to the Hawks. DiVincenzo, of course, stayed in Milwaukee and has been a pleasant surprise in his expanded role.
As the rumors surrounded who the Bucks may or may not trade, several of their players from last season opted out of their contracts. One of these players was Wes Matthews, their starting shooting guard. That opened up a starting spot for the Bucks’ 2018 first-round draft pick.
Though it is early, DiVincenzo has outplayed Bogdanovic so far this season.
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The stats speak for themselves, but what is also noteworthy is that DiVincenzo is doing this while playing in two fewer minutes per game than Bogdanovic. DiVincenzo is also younger and cheaper. His lower price tag allowed the Bucks to sign other players in free agency, such as Bobby Portis, DJ Augustine, Bryn Forbes, and Torrey Craig.
The Bucks sit at 5-4 after nine games. While not the fast start Bucks’ fans are used to over the past two seasons, it should not be concerning. They have had over 50% roster turnover and almost no preseason.
What is for sure, though, is that Chris Paul and Bogdan Bogdanovic would not make this roster and record better. Jrue Holiday and Donte DiVincenzo, on the other hand, give the Bucks hope for this season and years ahead.