Yesterday, the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G-League affiliate, officially took part in the G-League expansion draft. As Riley expertly laid out yesterday, this is an opportunity for the Herd to pluck the rights to players on the rest of the G-League teams that aren’t one of their 9 protected players. Even with that, don’t expect to see many of these guys actually playing on the herd, as many of them will play overseas. Regardless, any time they should choose to return stateside and play in the G-League, it will have to be as part of the Wisconsin Herd.
Without further ado, here are the 11 players the Herd selected:
The players are in order of the round they were selected in, so Vince Hunter was in Round 1, Gracin Bakumanya was Round 2 and so on. A cursory glance by an amateur like myself reveals just one name I recognize, Perry Ellis, the former Kansas senior
citizen who seemed as if he’d never leave the school only to go undrafted in 2016. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Greensboro Swarm last year, but is currently under contract to play in Australia. Ergo, he probably won’t be around.
Their first round selection, Vince Hunter, was a D-League All-Star in 2016 and averaged 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1 steal and 1.5 blocks per game in 32 contests with the Reno Bighorns. Since then he’s played overseas, including last year with the Russian League team BC Avtodor Saratov. His 6’8” size and 6’11” wingspan means he has some size to work with but primarily works around the rim.
Our friends at Ridiculous Upside (who know this stuff far better than I) did have this to say about the Herd’s second round selection though:
Don't know his status for 2017-18 but I think Herd fans should keep their eyes on Gracin Bakumanya. Mobile 6'11 big that's only 20 years old— Ridiculous Upside (@RidicUpside) August 23, 2017
With a 7’3” wingspan to go with that massive frame, Bakumanya was detailed as quite the mystery man when he left his name in the 2016 draft based on a quick reading of his DraftExpress page. Like most guys his size who didn’t get drafted, he’ll assuredly be quite a work in progress, but DX discussed how he has enough quickness to guard the perimeter despite his lack of defensive instincts at the rim. Regardless, the Bucks are a year away from being down to potentially just two centers on their roster, so it makes sense to aim high on a potential developmental prospect. His statistics with the Northern Arizona Suns were piddly last year (2.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 10.4 min/game), but there’s enough physical tools to work with. We’ll see what his status will be for this upcoming season, but I wouldn’t mind seeing what he can flash in Oshkosh next year rather than overseas.