Although there are no immediate on-court impacts, a bit of good news from the Milwaukee Bucks today as Donte DiVincenzo underwent a successful surgery for a torn left ankle ligament.
Donte DiVincenzo underwent successful surgery today to repair the torn ligament in his left ankle.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 8, 2021
The surgery was performed in Green Bay, WI, by Dr. Robert Anderson. Additional updates on DiVincenzo’s status will be provided as appropriate. pic.twitter.com/5bhwinWeqz
DiVincenzo was fouled by the Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic in Game 3 of the Bucks’ first round NBA playoffs series, and immediately viewers could tell that something serious had happened. Donte was previously ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs the day after, so there was never a chance that he would come back to the active roster before next season. He has been present on the bench during the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Brooklyn Nets, and given the way Games 1 and 2 have gone he’s been just as productive in street clothes as his teammates have been in regulation jerseys.
DiVincenzo’s absence wasn’t felt against the Heat, and it likely wouldn’t have made a massive difference against the Nets, but his dynamism on defense and jack-of-all-trades (but master of none) offensive game would have kept the starting lineup stable, rather than weighing the pros and cons of Pat Connaughton vs. PJ Tucker vs. Bryn Forbes. In any case, the Bucks’ problems run deeper than DiVincenzo’s absence.
Looking ahead, DiVincenzo’s offseason was previously murky and may have snapped into focus. He has one year left on his rookie contract and is eligible for an extension with the Bucks. Milwaukee has his Bird Rights and can pay him as much as they want...but how much would that be? With the past two seasons being all out of whack because of the coronavirus pandemic, Donte’s raw number of games played being lower is less of a concern than would be otherwise, but general manager Jon Horst wouldn’t seem to have interest in locking DiVincenzo up long-term unless it was at a particularly low figure, which Donte and his agent would prefer to avoid.
As a result, with an ankle injury to rehab, a history of foot issues, and a year to “prove it” before entering restricted free agency, it’s unlikely that an extension agreement will be reached and the former first round pick will have to go through the RFA process. But these are all problems for later; for now, get well soon, Donte.