In the wee hours this morning, Shams Charania reported that the Bucks were signing yet another rookie after an active evening gaining the rights to college players. While at least one of their other draft night acquisitions will be on a two-way, a fourth will be with the Bucks in the months ahead on an Exhibit 10 deal: former Gonzaga star Drew Timme.
Timme and his glorious mustache just wrapped up a highly-decorated four-year career with the Bulldogs, peaking with a loss in the 2021 NCAA Championship Game and capping it off with an Elite Eight defeat to eventual champion UConn (and likely future Summer League teammate Andre Jackson Jr.) in 2023. In addition to being a three-time All-American (once making the first team), Timme was a two-time WCC Player of the Year and averaged 21.2 PPG as a senior, elevating his career line in Spokane to 17.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.4 APG on .618/.250/.656 shooting.
All those accolades might make you think he’s worth an early second-round pick at worst until you see the shooting line. In an earlier era of the NBA, perhaps even as recently as seven or eight years ago, Timme is likely a much higher draft choice. Right or wrong, teams generally don’t value longer-tenured college players as highly and certainly don’t look as fondly on poor three-point or free-throw shooting, unless you’re a real defensive savant. He reminds me a bit of former Badger Ethan Happ, who only got a chance in Summer League coming out of school.
Still, Timme brings solid size at 6’10” and 235 pounds with a 7’2” wingspan. His old-school game featuring skills on the glass, passing from the post, a refined touch, footwork in the paint, plus well-developed hook, bank, up-and-under, and fadeaway shots gained him fans among the Bill Waltons of the NCAA commentariat. Plus there are the intangibles of playing for a highly-successful program and the experience of playing in the college game’s biggest moments, so he has that whole “winning mentality” thing.
For all that talent in the low post, he never showed a lot of athleticism or quickness, so he was taken advantage of on defense by even mid-major college talent, especially off the dribble. That means he’d be attacked relentlessly on pick-and-rolls at the next level, and his vertical was never high enough to be a credible rim protector. These plus the lack of an outside shot are the main reasons he went undrafted last night rather than getting a flyer late in the second round.
On an Exhibit 10 deal, Timme is not guaranteed any NBA salary, but if he sticks with the Bucks through training camp, he could be converted into a two-way deal. Currently, Milwaukee has Lindell Wigginton on one of those for next year and will reportedly sign Omari Moore to another. Thanks to the new CBA, teams will have three two-way slots moving forward instead of the previous two.
In the meantime, it seems very likely that Timme will be a part of the Bucks’ Summer League squad next month in Vegas. Should that go well enough, he’ll head north with the team for training camp in September. If not, the Bucks can cut him at any point with no penalty.