Bucks Lead Season Review #1: The Rookies


D.J. Wilson

Milwaukee turned a few heads with their selection of D.J. Wilson with the 17th pick in the draft, last summer. When you look at the rookie seasons of some of the players drafted after him, you can understand why. But newly hired GM Jon Horst went with Wilson. The Bucks chose D.J., for reasons that may still be valid; even if we didn’t see a lot from him on the court this season.


Wilson played far more minutes in the G-League this year than in the NBA. He appeared in 11 games for the Wisconsin Herd, all of them as a starter. D.J. averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He shot 34% from three, 47% from the field overall, and a perfect 11-11 at the free throw line.

His best outing was a 25-point, 10-rebound performance against the BayHawks (ATL); he shot 3-6 from 3pt and had 4 steals in that game. He had a 15 rebound game against the Drive (DET), and scored 20+ two other times.

In 22 appearances with the Bucks this season, Wilson played 71 total minutes. In reality, he spent much of his season practicing with the team and training. This is what most rookies usually do on playoff teams, especially those drafted in the middle of the first round.

Rick Scuteri / Associated Press

While some may look at Wilson’s season and question if Milwaukee made the right pick, I think it’s too early to judge that. The first off-season in the NBA is often a time when players are able to take a big leap physically, to be able to earn more minutes next year. Let’s keep an eye on how D.J. performs this year in Summer League, and hopefully he progresses to the point of playing a role for the Bucks next season.

Sterling Brown

With the 46th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Sterling Brown. The Bucks, who had the 48th pick, saw the guy they wanted come off the board and decided to make some moves.  Milwaukee drafted Sindarius Thornwell with their pick.

Then, through a series of deals, some not made official until after the July 6th moratorium date, Milwaukee acquired Sterling Brown from Philadelphia and sent Thornwell, along with Philly’s 39th pick Jawun Evans, to the Clippers for cash considerations.

The second round of the NBA Draft is a weird place, but the Bucks have played it well the past two years.

Sterling won’t win Rookie of the Year like Milwaukee’s 2nd rounder from a year ago, but he’s shown some promise in his first season.  Brown appeared in 54 games for the Bucks, including 4 starts.  He averaged 4.0 points in 14.4 minutes a game.

Getty Images / NBA

Sterling’s potential as a wing shooter is very intriguing, and the Bucks will be counting on him to continue to improve.  As we saw in the playoffs, it is a make or miss league. Milwaukee needs to keep finding and developing guys who can make shots. Surrounding Giannis with shooters is the blueprint to success, and I think Sterling fits the bill.

About Preston Dubey

Lifelong basketball fanatic and Bucks' supporter I coach basketball; but I eat, sleep, and breathe the game.

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