The wheels of roster-building turn on and on, and today the Milwaukee Bucks made a change with one of their two two-way spots. On the way out is Javonte Smart, who appeared in 13 games with Milwaukee, and replacing him is Lindell Wigginton, most recently of the Wisconsin Herd.
The Bucks have signed guard Lindell Wigginton to a Two-Way contract. https://t.co/ANnPM8bjKU— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 13, 2022
Wigginton, 23, was an undrafted free agent after going unselected in the 2019 NBA Draft, and bounced around between G-League teams and clubs in Israel and Canada before arriving to the Wisconsin Herd last October in a trade. Wigginton played two years at Iowa State, shooting the ball early and often with some success (0.397 from 3 across 56 NCAA games). With the Herd this year, Wigginton has appeared in 17 games and started in 11 of them. Per the Bucks press release, “the 23-year-old Canadian has reached double figures in scoring in 12 of his 17 games with the Herd this season, including seven games with 20+ points and two games with 30+ points.”
So why Wigginton, and why now? For one thing, the Bucks have likely seen what they needed to see out of Javonte Smart, a tough competitor who had a knack for making savvy plays and generally exerted himself on defense (as well as impeccable manners)...but the shooting...
Javonte Smart had a solid first 2 games…and then proceeded to shoot 6/33 and not sniff the court even when literally every other Bucks guard was out last weekend. Makes sense to try another option and cool to reward Wigginton given his excellent play of late for Herd. https://t.co/nt3y5qJqqz— Frank Madden (@fmaddenNBA) January 13, 2022
On the other hand, Wigginton can shoot. Peachtree Hoops wrote up a scouting report back in 2019 and immediately highlighted the extreme range Wigginton possesses, while noting that he had work to do as a finisher at the rim and playmaker, and at only (in NBA terms) 6’1” and 190 lbs he has his work cut out for him. He doesn’t appear to be a slouch on defense, though, per Peachtree Hoops:
NBA coaches will love what he bring on the defensive end of the court despite his lack of size. He plays much bigger than his frame suggests. He is always in the right spot. He’s very willing to defend much bigger players. He is as effective defending off-ball as he is defending at the point of attack.
He plays with a lot of intensity as a defender and has excellent feel and rhythm. He is a good communicator. He embraces the challenge of defending his man, whoever that man is.
Of course, no article about a back-end roster move is complete without video footage, so here is a highlight package of Wigginton’s time at Iowa State, as well as some of his successful outings with the Wisconsin Herd.
Like the Justin Robinson era, the Javonte Smart era has come to an end, and we find ourselves in the age of Lindell Wigginton. Let’s see how it goes!