It might not yet be official, but the Milwaukee Bucks appear to be poised to make a change at the end of their roster. Gary Payton II, Son of Glove and Bucks/Herd two-way point guard, will be released tomorrow.
Milwaukee plans to waive guard Gary Payton II in the coming days, league sources tell ESPN. His 45 days of service as a two-way player ends Monday.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 17, 2017
With the Bucks this season, Payton II averaged 2.8 points and 8.8 minutes across 12 NBA games. As an occasional contributor, Payton II routinely impacted the defense (although whether it was positive or negative changed by the day), and while he had a handful of fun dunks, his offensive contributions were negligible.
With Payton II no longer in the fold, it seems that the Bucks already have plans to fill his roster spot:
Milwaukee Bucks plan to sign guard Sean Kilpatrick, league sources tell ESPN. Brooklyn released him last week to make room for Jahlil Okafor trade.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 17, 2017
Sean Kilpatrick might ring a bell for Bucks fans who followed the team’s Las Vegas Summer League outing a few seasons ago, but has also made a larger contribution on the NBA level than Payton II. In 121 NBA games, Kilpatrick averages 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He’s not afraid to let it fly from three (career 3PAr: 42.9%), or from anywhere, really (career usage rate: 23.7%).
As an end-of-the-bench bucket-getter, Kilpatrick could help jump start the Bucks’ offense if it gets bogged down, more capably than Payton II can, or even some of the Bucks’ existing guard rotation (Rashad Vaughn, Sterling Brown, and Jason Terry all have things keeping them from being a one-man show on offense). Expectations on defense should be tempered, both because of his late arrival and lack of experience with the scheme, and at his age (Kilpatrick turns 28 in January) he is not expected to have a high upside.
Overall, this move was one the Bucks forced themselves into. Either Payton II needed to be let go, or another player on the squad (likely Vaughn) would have to be waived to keep GPII. Payton II’s presence helped mitigate the team’s absence of guards (Matthew Dellavedova, Tony Snell, and JET all hurt), but 45 days is 45 days; two-way contracts shouldn’t be depended on for depth. How will the team react to the change?
Payton II started six games for Bucks. This is not a popular move within the locker room. https://t.co/RY9UH8FizB— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 17, 2017
We will have to see. Until then, farewell to Gary Payton II, and hello to Sean Kilpatrick!