Bucks

Bucks Getting Max Value From Malik Beasley’s Minimum Deal

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The Milwaukee Bucks grabbed Malik Beasley in free agency to provide the sharpshooting the team needed at a cheap price tag.

Beasley signed a veteran-minimum deal and the Bucks turned and traded Grayson Allen, who was due $8.5 million.

With so much attention being paid to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton, having a deadeye shooter to make the defense pay for focusing on the Big 3 is necessary. The Bucks could not have asked for more than what Beasley is providing. The 3-point marksman who led the NBA in made 3s off the bench a season ago has been tearing it up with the Bucks this season.

Beasley invaluable to Bucks with his shooting ability

Beasley is averaging 11.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 47.3% from the floor and 45.2% from 3-point range. Beasley’s effective-field-goal percentage is a sizzling 64%. With his superb night on Feb. 9 vs. Charlotte, Beasley set a Bucks single-season record with his 13th game of 5+ made 3-pointers.

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. After the last two years, a rotation player hitting shots would be a welcome sight for the Bucks.

Playing alongside Giannis and Dame, “the others” can get wide open looks. Beasley has received what many crave with more wide-open looks than he typically gets.

Beasley has cashed in those opportunities. The sharpshooter has had a massive jump in effective field goal percentage this season.

In December, Beasley finished 2023 being a flamethrower. He averaged over 12 points per game, but he was knocking down 3s at a 51.5% clip on more than six 3-point attempts per game. Beasley had five games in the month with five 3-pointers made or more in just 11 games played. His torrid December was part of the reason the Bucks had the top offense in December.

Beasley doing what he was brought to Milwaukee to do

Beasley has already provided the Bucks their money’s worth. The sharpshooter has hit 166 triples already this season and takes nearly 75% of his shots from 3. Beasley earned an appearance in the NBA 3-point contest during All-Star weekend with teammate Damian Lillard thanks to his success from long distance.

After the last pair of 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 was the hat trick. The move — if Beasley can hit timely shots in critical late-season games — will go down as a grand slam for the Deer and GM Jon Horst.

The Bucks’ most successful lineups include Beasley on the floor. The four-player combo of Lillard, Giannis, Beasley and Brook Lopez is hard to stop.

The seventh-year guard is getting wide-open looks playing with Giannis and Lillard. On catch-and-shoot opportunities, Beasley drills 3s at a 47.3% clip on 273 attempts. Despite his sizzling shooting with Giannis creating so much attention, it’s a pick-your-poison type deal. On the year, he has still gotten 141 wide-open looks from deep and has hit 76 of them (53.9%). His sizzling shooting has helped the Bucks have a top true-shooting percentage in the league.

Beasley has now made 17 more corner 3s (76-for-147, 51.7%) than any other player and far more than he made all of last season (44-for-124, 35.5%).

Beasley has made the Bucks’ offense potent

While much of the offseason talk has been all about the acquisition of Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley has been massive for the Bucks’ offense. With all of the attention put on Giannis and Lillard, Beasley and the Bucks will continue to get what they crave— a deep postseason run and Beasley being a big part of and firmly in the playoff rotation.

About Mitchell Skurzewski

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