This season was the experiment which the Milwaukee Bucks liked well enough to turn into something permanent: Giannis Antetokounmpo, point guard.
The 6’11 third-year player is transitioning from being just an athletic phenom (the Greek Freak) into a complete player who can play all five positions on the floor. Usually a small forward until February of this season, Jason Kidd and the Bucks turned him into their point guard, or if positions are too old of definitions for you, they simply switched up his role into being the main ball handler for the team. As Kidd said: Call it whatever you like – Point guard, point forward, point center. It doesn’t matter.
While the Bucks haven’t been able to get back into the playoffs in what has mostly been a disappointing season (playing without a point guard for most of it and Greg Monroe disappointing, especially on defense), they’re excited about their future with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker, who seems to just now be getting back to himself after a long injury rehabilitation. The Bucks aren’t thinking about breaking up this team because of what they see as a setback.
Since February 20, he has four triple-doubles, and in March he’s averaged 19 points, 7.3 assists and 7.4 rebounds. He’s also been playing very well on defense, and obviously creates a lot of problems for teams with his height, length and improving passing ability and game understanding on both ends of the floor. He can guard four or five positions (Depending if teams are playing smallball against the Bucks), and Milwaukee see him as the centerpiece for their team next season.
The key is finding the right players around them. The Bucks have just $60 million committed to salaries next season, without anyone they can’t do without hitting free agency. With a high draft pick and plenty of free agency spending money, the Bucks don’t need to spend big or something like that in order to get back on track. They just need to do it smartly. There’s something of a power struggle with Jason Kidd (not the first time it’s happened with him) regarding roles with the team’s general manager. Figuring that one out might be as important as figuring out who to put around Antetokounmpo, Parker and Middleton.