Welcome to the Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2018-19 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations! Similar to last year’s series, we’ll take a look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what do they do that helps (Boon), what do they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).
Today we will talk about Donte DiVincenzo aka The Big Ragu, aka #WhiteDonte, aka The Michael Jordan of Delaware. TL;DR - The 17th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft had a start and stop first season due to injuries.
Donte’s Boon: Doing stuff
When Donte was drafted, it would appear he was going to be more of a sharpshooter or 3-D player who potentially could be a primary ball handler. We didn’t know too much because Donte had burst on the scene during the NCAA tournament and the draft workouts prior to being selected. From the season opener against Charlotte however, it was apparent he could do a little bit of everything.
What you don’t see in a lot of the videos are his ability to do the little things like flying in for rebounds or hustle plays on the margins. He didn’t do one thing particularly well, but as most Bucks fans will note, Donte simply just did stuff while he was on the court.
Donte’s Bane: Health and shooting
While Donte did a lot of stuff, it was primarily plagued by the lack of time he spent on the court. Last year in summer league he missed a few games due to a groin injury, and when he did return, he wasn’t able to make many jumpshots. During the regular season he only played 27 games due to lingering injuries in his heel. When Donte was healthy and playing, he wasn’t the shooter that we were expecting going into the season. Donte shot a poor 27% from three, which is not going to cut it moving forward in Milwaukee’s five-out system.
Does Donte Belong?
The departure of Malcolm Brogdon will open up playing time and a potential starting spot at the two guard position. Donte will be competing with George Hill, Pat Connaughton, Sterling Brown and Wes Matthews for playing time in that role. Coach Budenholzer went to Donte frequently at the beginning of the season, illustrating how much he trusts him. Jon Horst is also high on him, as he mentioned right before Summer League play commenced per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Donte’s been in here every day. He’s looking really good right now. He’s definitely healthy,” general manager Jon Horst said after the draft June 20. ”We’re going to be really cautious with it. We’re not going to push him out into summer league.”
Donte will certainly be in line for some rotation minutes this upcoming season. While we hope the “doing stuff” continues, we hope the shooting and health improves as well.