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Bucks make first round of cuts, roster size down to eighteen

Two-way player Omari Moore, camp invites Jazian Gortman and Drew Timme were all waived

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks

A short while ago, the Bucks began the process of trimming down the 21-man offseason/training camp roster in preparation for opening night, which is a week from tomorrow. Directly from the team, Milwaukee announced they waived forward Drew Timme, guard Jazian Gortman, and two-way guard Omari Moore.

Those first two weren’t surprising, but Moore was somewhat unexpected. After all, they signed the San Jose State product to a two-way deal that lasted two years on draft night. He had his moments in Summer League back in July, and his 6’6” length plus collegiate point guard experience made him an interesting prospect if a longshot. He seemed likely to be a regular feature with the Wisconsin Herd in the G League season ahead. However, Moore saw no action in the first three preseason games and only made his “debut” last night with five scoreless minutes, his only contribution being one rebound. That lack of playing time had me wondering if the Bucks weren’t as enamored with him anymore now that they’ve had over three months to look at him, and this move seems to confirm that.

Also only finally getting into a preseason game last night was Gortman, who got an assist but missed all three of his shots, turned the ball over twice, and committed two fouls in those same five minutes as Moore. I saw sporadic excitement about him from Bucks fans during Summer League and in the months since after an erroneous report that the team was signing him to a two-way, which turned out to be a Vegas invite. I never saw what piqued people’s interest, since he really showed nothing in his more substantial gameplay in July and is a bit undersized. Regardless, the 20-year-old ultimately got an Exhibit 10 deal for training camp. He can now join the Bucks’ G League affiliate and receive a $75k bonus if they make him an affiliate player and he remains with the Herd for 60 days.

Then there’s Timme, who also was on an Exhibit 10. He saw a bit more action than the other two, even making the go-ahead bucket late in the first preseason game on a putback. What he lacks in NBA-caliber skill (mainly shooting from anywhere away from the rim, including at the line) he makes up for in size (6’10”) and experience after a decorated four-year career at Gonzaga. He seemed like a longshot to claim even a two-way deal from any team, but he will certainly have a future in the G League or overseas. Like Gortman, Timme can report to Oshkosh if the Bucks designate him as an affiliate player and he stays with the Herd for 60 days.

With this move, the roster is currently at eighteen players, with only former Herd/Duke center Marques Bolden remaining among the camp invitees. Most interestingly, this opens up one of the Bucks’ three two-way spots, which Bolden could be a candidate for. Though he’s never flashed much in camp the past two years, the 25-year-old has good size for an NBA center at 6’10” and 250 pounds. The other two-way spots are occupied by point guards Lindell Wigginton and TyTy Washington. The latter would seem safe given that he was their most recent two-way signee and because he was a first-round pick just a year ago.

Wigginton played significant minutes in the initial two preseason games—even starting in the first one—before sitting in third. He came back for seven minutes last night. He’s looked pretty bad (1/10 from the field, 7 turnovers across 51 combined minutes) despite some decent play on two-way deals with Milwaukee over the past two years, but they may prefer his experience and keep him on the roster.

We’ll see if the Bucks elect to do anything with their third two-way spot or simply keep it open to start the regular season. They currently have fifteen players on guaranteed deals currently and a roster of eighteen with Bolden, Wigginton, and Washington included. They’d either have to waive Bolden or convert him to a two-way by opening night to be in compliance with the NBA’s roster rules.