Bucks

Bucks Could Reap Rewards from Shrewd Beasley Signing

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The Bucks weren’t expected to be major players in signing outside free agents this offseason.

After re-signing Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, GM Jon Horst only had minimum contracts — and thus, getting minimum value — to offer. However, Horst made a shrewd signing by inking sharpshooter Malik Beasley to one of those minimum contracts.

Beasley’s previous contract was four years, $60 million. It was widely expected that he’d receive more cash from another team in free agency, but the Bucks convinced Beasley to ink a veteran-minimum deal. He adds much-needed youth and athleticism to the Bucks’ wing rotation.

Beasley packs a scoring punch

The Bucks lacked a scoring punch off the bench last season except when Middleton was with the second unit. Beasley, though, can really provide some microwave scoring off the pine. He isn’t bashful shooting the basketball, either, averaging more than seven three-point attempts in fewer than 24 minutes per game last season.

The 6-foot-4 wing led the NBA in made 3-pointers off the bench last season with 159. On the season, Beasley drained 235 total. Despite the solid year, Beasley was out of the Lakers’ playoff rotation after the first round. The 26-year-old may see an opportunity to play regularly on a contender and may have a chip on his shoulder to make an impact in the playoffs. And after the last two years, a rotation player hitting shots would be a welcome sight for the Bucks.

Beasley can play his way into being a significant contributor with the Deer. He offers a lot of the same things Grayson Allen does, but Beasley can score in a bit more ways — particularly in the midrange — while Allen may be a better passer. Another thing to like about Beasley is that he can win you a game.

While Allen is a nice player, he rarely will get you 25 points. Beasley can do that somewhat regularly for a role player. In fact, with Minnesota, Beasley averaged 20.7 points per game in 2019-2020 and 19.6 the following season. For his career, Beasley is a 38% three-point shooter.

If Beasley can fit in with the Bucks, he will cash in next offseason.

Beasley can be hidden defensively with Bucks

But let’s also be realistic. Beasley was available for a minimum deal because while he is a good shooter and athletic finisher in transition, he is a minus on the defensive end of the floor.

In Milwaukee, though, Beasley will be surrounded by prolific defensive players that will be around him. The Bucks boast a Defensive Player of the Year in Giannis, a DPOY runner-up Brook Lopez and first-team All-Defense, Jrue Holiday.

There is a potential for big minutes if he shoots it well, but the Bucks do have a logjam on the wing. Khris Middleton, Allen, MarJon Beauchamp, Pat Connaughton, AJ Green and Andre Jackson Jr. are either entrenched or capable of pushing for minutes. None of the bench players can score at a clip like Beasley, though.

Bottom line

For the Bucks to get a player the caliber of Beasley on the minimum is a coup for Horst. He can do most of what Grayson Allen can do and is a better pure scorer. Allen makes $10 million while Beasley is on a vet minimum. The shrewd acquisition of Beasley brings a young rotation player capable of dropping 20-plus points.

It also makes Allen or another player expendable in a trade to bring in a hole in the roster— like a backup point guard. Bringing in Beasley is a no-lose situation for the Bucks on a minimum contract and the Bucks can reap a big return.

After the last couple early playoff exits, the Bucks needed more athleticism on the perimeter. They need role players who can knock down shots. Beasley checks both of those boxes plus with the Bucks cap situation, getting him on the minimum is the hat trick. The move — if Beasley can hit timely shots in critical games — is a home run for the Deer and GM Jon Horst.

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About Mitchell Skurzewski

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