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Three Bs: D.J. Wilson

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2017-18 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations. For this series, we wanted to look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what they do that helps (Boon), what they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).

I had a cool logo featuring a trio of Bs, but got a “cease and desist” notice from a lawyer wearing $200 flip flops. Oh well. Today, we’re looking at Milwaukee’s first round pick from 2017 and hair-game extraordinaire, D.J. Wilson.

Season Stats (per 36 minutes – rank at position)

  • Points/36: 10.6 (75th among power forwards)
  • Rebounds/36: 5.1 (80th among power forwards)
  • 3PA/36: 2.5 (66th among power forwards)
  • 3Pt%: 0.400 (11th among power forwards)

D.J’s Boon: Theoretical Upside

On paper, Wilson appears to be a nice fit for what the Bucks expect from a big. He’s a rangy 6’10” forward with good length and surprising mobility (particularly when defending in space and moving laterally), has legitimate handles on offense (for a center), and can capably space the floor. If his development over the summer and following season can follow a decent progression, the Bucks will have a floor-stretcher who can play at either big position and at least handle his own on defense. When tasked with sharing the floor with a dynamic power forward (or in the Bucks’ case, two of them), the playing style of D.J. Wilson would fit right in.

D.J’s Bane: NBA-Caliber Talent?

There are the things that D.J. Wilson could do, and then there are the things that he has done, which is to say...not much. Limited to less than 100 minutes in his NBA rookie campaign, there is simply no way to effectively measure Wilson’s performance with the Bucks thus far. He chucked up some shots in garbage time, got pushed around with ease, and despite his excellent bench game he never seemed to belong. During his stint with the Wisconsin Herd, Wilson was able to see significant playing time in nearly a dozen games, and produced raw averages of 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in his 358 minutes of G-League action, but never seemed to be a “big fish in a little pond” as one might expect an NBA player to be when matched up against lesser competition. As a three-year college player at Michigan, fans are left scratching their heads.

Does D.J. Belong?

The Bucks have been through this often enough for fans to be gun-shy. Rookies are, nearly always, bad basketball players, and few of them ever develop into players of any consequence. Wilson also comes in as the most recent pick in a stretch of drafting in the mid-first that, outside of Giannis, fails to leave much of an impression. It is truly too early to tell with Wilson, and with three more years of team control thanks to the rookie scale contract, it’s safe to assume that we’ll be able to easily keep track of where Wilson goes from here.