The Bucks finally won last night after a five game losing streak. Unfortunately, they haven’t looked like true championship contenders so far this season. Now, the ultimate goal of resigning Giannis has been accomplished, but we still have to win a championship. So I’m taking over my favorite team and leading them to a championship.
If you haven’t seen the articles where I became the GM of the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers, then you don’t know how this works. I use NBA2K21’s MyNBA mode in these articles. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I can do.
So how is this gonna work? Well, I’m going to be making realistic moves to set the Bucks in the direction I think they should go in. (Note: I have trade override on, simply because 2K’s trade system is iffy sometimes. You often have to throw in a ton of draft picks to get a trade done. Just trust that I’ll make realistic trades. You’ll get to see them.) I’ll be controlling the Bucks for the 2020-21 season and the 2021 offseason in this article (I’ll probably make a part two to this article where I do the 2021-22 season). I’ll make all the trades, free agent signings, staff signings, and draft choices that I think the Bucks should make to send them in the right direction. (Another note: I will be playing with injuries this time. Scary.)
My plan for the Bucks is simple. I want to win an NBA championship, by any means necessary. But my goal is to try and keep the Giannis/Middleton/Jrue/Divincenzo core together for at least a couple seasons.
So without further ado, let’s jump into it!
Beginning of 2020-21 Season
(Note: 2K has said that they will not fix the start today mode for 2K21. So instead of starting on today’s date with real records and stats, we’re starting on December 1st. That isn’t even the day the season started in real life, but it is what it is. I guess. Be better 2K.)
Signing: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
I had a roster spot available, so I picked up Rondae on a one year deal. He’ll bring hustle, rebounding, and defense as a four or a small-ball five. He’ll be like D.J. Wilson but better.
Trade #1: D.J. Augustin to the Hawks
Hawks get: D.J. Augustin, 2022 2nd round pick
Bucks get: Kris Dunn
I am not a fan of how Augustin has been playing this year. He’s not a good defender, and he’s shooting 34% from the field. The Hawks want Augustin because Brandon Goodwin has been their backup PG this year (Rondo and Dunn have been injured or not playing). I want Dunn because he can defend, which I want for my backup guard.
Here’s what I’m rocking with for the rotation to start the season. I’m gonna roll out an 11 man rotation, because that’s what the Bucks do. We’re deep enough to do it.
Starters: Jrue Holiday, Donte Divincenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Bench: Bobby Portis Jr., Pat Connaughton, Kris Dunn, Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
We are number one in the power rankings to start the year. We’ll see how that goes.
We played 13 games in December. We went 8-5. That’s not great. Bobby Portis was out for most of the month though. Our power ranking at the end of December is fourth.
(Also, of course D.J. Augustin is shooting 48% from three with the Hawks. He is shooting 35% from the field though. Not sure if that means he’s playing good or bad. You decide.)
We only lost three times in January. Our record is 21-8. That’s great. I’m gonna switch up the rotation a little so the rookies can get some minutes.
Starters: Jrue Holiday, Donte Divincenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis, Brook Lopez
Bench: Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, Kris Dunn, Sam Merrill, Jordan Nwora, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
We’re sitting at number two in the power rankings behind the Mavericks.
Contract Extension Deadline
Nobody on the team wants a contract extension. That’s all good.
Waiving: D.J. Wilson
It is with a heavy heart that I am releasing D.J. Wilson. I’m just not too impressed with his play this year (in the video game, of course. He hasn’t been that bad in real life). In 13 games, he averaged 6 points and 5 rebounds. That’s good, but he shot 33% from the field, 21% from three, and 52% from the free throw line. That’s awful. Since I’m trying to win, I want a player who can contribute more consistently. Sorry D.J, it’s only business.
Signing: Donta Hall
Donta Hall is a one year pro who played with the Nets in the bubble. He currently plays for G-League Ignite. He can block shots and rebound. He’ll fill D.J.’s spot.
Since we have a record of 32-11, I’m gonna give some of the bench guys extended minutes until the trade deadline. Here’s what I’m rocking with:
Starters: Jrue Holiday, Donte Divincenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis, Brook Lopez
Bench: Bobby Portis, Jaylen Adams, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton, Bryn Forbes, Donta Hall
Trade #2: Forbes to Orlando
Magic get: Bryn Forbes
Bucks get: Khem Birch, 2021 2nd round pick
I didn’t need Forbes and Connaughton. I decided to keep Connaughton because Forbes is shooting an underwhelming 34% from three. In real life he’s shooting like 47%. The Magic didn’t have much shooting guard depth because they traded Evan Fournier for Gordon Hayward (I hate 2K sometimes. That’s such an unrealistic trade. But whatever). Khem Birch will be a nice third center off the bench for me. He’s been pretty good in real life this season.
After the trade deadline, here’s the rotation I’ll be using for the rest of the season (unless an injury happens).
Starters: Jrue, Divincenzo, Middleton, Giannis, Brook
Bench: Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, Pat Connaughton, Rondae H-J, Khem Birch, Torrey Craig
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently 40-16. Giannis and Middleton were All-Stars. We’re number one in the power rankings. Jaylen Adams is shooting on 40/50/90 splits (I wonder if that has ever happened before). D.J. Wilson got picked up by the Clippers. Life is good.
Second Half of the Season/NBA Awards
The Bucks finished 59-24, earning the one seed. (Somehow, the Nets are only the four seed. Ok 2K. Now I might have to play them in the second round, unless Cleveland pulls the upset.) Budenholzer won coach of the year, and I won executive of the year. Giannis made All-NBA first and All-Defensive first. Jrue Holiday made All-Defensive second. Here are the guy’s final numbers:
G. Antetokounmpo: 24 PPG/13 RPG/6 APG
K. Middleton: 21/4/5, 50/40/90 shooting
J. Holiday: 15/4/6
D. Divincenzo: 11/5/2
B. Portis Jr: 11/6/1
B. Lopez: 10/4/1, 2 BPG
J. Nwora: 10/3/1
S. Merrill: 9/1/1
T. Antetokounmpo: 7/1/1
R. Hollis-Jefferson: 6/3/1
K. Dunn: 6/3/3
J. Adams: 5/2/4 (That’s actually pretty good for a 67 overall two-way contract player)
P. Connaughton: 5/3/2
T. Craig: 3/1/1
K. Birch: 2/4/1
D. Hall: 2/2/1
M. Diatke: 2/3/1
I’m super impressed with how the rookies played. Nwora and Merrill both put up great scoring numbers. Diatke also showed what he can do in limited minutes. I’m happy with the play of our other bench guys as well. (How in the world did Thanasis average 7 PPG? I’m not complaining though.)
We beat the Magic 4-1 in the first round. Then we lost to the Nets in 7 games. Somehow, the Grizzlies won the championship, beating the Hawks in 7 games. I will pay every person who likes this article $100 if that is the real life Finals matchup. But whatever. The 2021 free agent class is good, and we’ll be able to improve.
I own the 29th pick, but I’m trading it for sure.
Just kidding! Stepein rule. I’m not allowed to trade it.
Draft Pick: Marcus Bagley
With the 29th pick in the 2021 draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select power forward Marcus Bagley from Arizona State university. He’s Marvin Bagley’s brother. I’ll take it, maybe he’ll be decent.
Jrue Holiday accepted his player option, which is good. Bobby Portis declined, which is bad. Kris Dunn accepted. I might trade him, because his option is worth five million dollars. We’ll see. I’m picking up the team options on Nwora and Merrill.
Trade #3: Brook Lopez to Miami
Heat get: Brook Lopez
Bucks get: Jae Crowder, 2024 2nd round pick
I’m not sure how Jae Crowder ended up back with the Heat. But that’s ok, cause now he’s with me. Bam Adebayo was the only center on the Heat, and Brook Lopez will provide them good depth at the bench. Jae Crowder is a great 3&D wing who has Finals experience.
Signing: Richuan Holmes
Richuan is a great center. He can score in the paint, defend the paint, and rebound at high levels. If I’m able to get Bobby Portis back, they will be a great center tandem. I gave Richuan a 3 year, 19 million dollar deal.
Resigning: Jaylen Adams
Although his 2K overall is really low, I was impressed with how he played last season (when he got the chance to play). I gave him a two year minimum deal with a player option on the second season. He probably won’t play a ton this year, but he earned himself another contract.
Resigning: Bobby Portis Jr.
I really like how Bobby Portis has been playing this season in real life. He brings great energy, and his floor-stretching ability is very useful. I’m glad I was able to bring him back. Bobby got a 2 year, 10 million dollar deal.
Signing: Jarred Vanderbilt
Jarred is a young four who brings great energy. He can rebound well. By giving him a 3 year, 8 million dollar deal, I’m hoping he’ll be able to develop even more. He’s been good for the Timberwolves in real life this season, and he’ll be good for me on the Bucks.
Signing: Ian Mahinmi
I thought this man would retire, but I guess not. He’s 34, with his best days behind him, but I needed a guy who plays tough post defense and rebounds. Mahinmi does that, and he’ll be a good veteran for our team. I gave him a one year minimum deal.
Signing: Jordan Bone
I’m bringing Jordan in on a two-way contract. At age 23, he has some room to grow. I’m hoping he’ll be the next Jaylen Adams for my squad.
Signing: Paul Watson
Paul Watson is my other two-way guy. I know Raptors fans like him (I’m aware of a Paul Watson fan page followed by the man himself) because he’s a hard worker. He can shoot and defend, and if he gets an opportunity to play good minutes for me, I don’t think he’ll disappoint.
2K does have a training camp feature, where you have up to three (I have two) camps you can use to improve a player’s stats. I’m sending Giannis to shooting camp (improving his mid range and his three), and Jarred Vanderbilt to untapped potential (increasing his potential, meaning he could be even better for me in a few years. I like what he can bring).
Beginning of 2021-22 Season
So this is where part one of my tenure as the Bucks GM ends. I would include season two in this article, but then it would get really long. Let’s take a look at the roster going into season two:
PG: Jrue Holiday, Kris Dunn, Jaylen Adams, Jordan Bone
SG: Donte Divincenzo, Pat Connaughton, Sam Merrill, Paul Watson
SF: Khris Middleton, Jae Crowder, Jordan Nwora
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jarred Vanderbilt, Marcus Bagley
C: Richuan Holmes, Bobby Portis Jr, Ian Mahinmi
I like this roster, especially on defense. Almost every player on this roster is at least a solid defender (Nwora, Merrill, Adams are exceptions, but whatever). This team is also full of shooting. I’m super excited for season two. See y’all next time!