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Ranking the Roster 2018: D.J. Wilson is the First Buck Exiled

The Bucks’ 2017 first rounder was also selected for the first boot.

NBA: Summer League-Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The votes are in, and the results aren’t pretty: with 32% of the vote, Milwaukee Bucks forward D.J. Wilson was selected by the Brew Hoop community as the team’s least valuable player. Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood were tied for second with 13% each, and Tyler Zeller “earned” fourth place with 10%.

Despite his sophomore status, Bucks fans have been down on D.J. since almost the very beginning. An “older” rookie out of Michigan (he’ll turn 23 in February 2019), Wilson logged only 71 more NBA minutes for his career than I have. With playing time sparse, Wilson did manage to accumulate a whopping 358 minutes of G-League playing time with the Wisconsin Herd last season, and the results there were similar to the results from Las Vegas Summer League: uninspiring. He can shoot a bit, I guess, but he gets more attention for his hairstyle choices, short shorts, and bench celebrations than anything else.

Wilson is, at this point in his career, technically a complete unknown in the NBA...but only technically. Most rookies are bad, but Wilson was non-existent. The fact that enough Bucks fans singled Wilson out from the field of available Bucks to send packing is indicative of the low ceiling most prognosticators predict from him...which isn’t the best outcome for a player selected 17th overall just a year ago.

The comments of the initial “Rank the Roster!” post brought up an interesting dynamic for this exercise that I would encourage fans to consider. First, our generic reminder:

This community ranking exercise is not based just on who is the best player, but should be looked through the lens of roster building. We encourage you to factor in players’ talent, age, leadership potential, contracts, and whatever other primary factors you consider when evaluating a basketball asset. Think of it like an expansion draft, and you are voting for the player you are most willing to part with.

Obviously, with enough variance in opinion, disagreements and debate follow. In the discussion on Wednesday, a number of readers discussed the concept of value, and how they differed when defining players with positive, neutral, and negative value. One of the main takeaways I found from the discussion was this: is it better to have a near-zero impact player (Wilson) on the roster, who is bad but also cheap, or is it better to have a guy who can actively play and contribute, but is a net-negative on the cap sheet (like, say, Matthew Dellavedova)? I don’t have the answers, but I sure would like to find out!

Without further delay, let’s move on to the next round! Will the next exile be targeted based on how much they play, or how much they get paid? Will one of the non-guaranteed training camp invites be cast out, or one of the very-much-guaranteed contracts from Milwaukee’s second- and third-string? Vote now!


The next least valuable Buck on the roster is...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Sterling Brown
    (8 votes)
  • 5%
    Pat Connaughton
    (19 votes)
  • 19%
    Matthew Dellavedova
    (73 votes)
  • 2%
    Donte DiVincenzo
    (11 votes)
  • 8%
    John Henson
    (30 votes)
  • 0%
    Ersan Ilyasova
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Brook Lopez
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Thon Maker
    (1 vote)
  • 23%
    Shabazz Muhammad
    (85 votes)
  • 2%
    Tony Snell
    (8 votes)
  • 17%
    Christian Wood
    (63 votes)
  • 18%
    Tyler Zeller
    (67 votes)
367 votes total Vote Now