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Milwaukee Bucks Ranking The Roster: Omari Moore hops the bus to Oshkosh at 17

The two-way rookie is first off the island

2023 NBA Summer League - Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Minutes after the 2023 NBA Draft concluded, the Bucks made one of the first two-way signings that often immediately follow the second round where teams quickly snap up an undrafted player in a way that permits the type of flexibility meant for such players. While those players don’t always stick or might sign an Exhibit 10 (training camp) contract, this year’s instance of such a transaction seems more likely to hang around the roster for a bit: San Jose State alum Omari Moore.

Exemplifying the kind of difficulty in predicting not only what kind of player an undrafted two-way rookie could be, but even if he could become an NBA player at all, Moore is seventeenth in this year’s exercise. Given that our list is predicated on postseason rotation hierarchy and two-way players are ineligible to even dress for a playoff match, this adds up (nudge nudge to those who picked Thanasis over Moore and Lindell Wigginton).

After a four-year career with the Spartans, the 22-year-old Pasadena native topped out in the sixties on some draft boards on the heels of a senior year that garnered him—much like 2020 Bucks draftee Sam Merrill—Mountain West Player of the Year honors. His measurements from the combine and the all-around game he developed likely intrigued more than just Milwaukee, but Moore chose the opportunity to split time between the big leagues and the G League affiliate in Oshkosh on a deal that will cover the next two seasons.

Though he wasn’t really a prominent feature of the Bucks’ Summer League roster last month, he got into all five contests, averaging 11.6 MPG. His Vegas experience started inauspiciously, not scoring a point until his third appearance and registering no statistics aside from a personal in his second, but after another scoreless outing, he showed some flashes of usefulness in the finale against Sacramento. In 25 minutes—by far his most run of Summer League—he stuffed the stat sheet with seven points on 3/4 shooting, four boards, two assists, and five steals. As I wrote at the time:

His on-ball defense and disruption frustrated Kings ballhandlers from the minute he entered. That established a very pesky defensive tone that spread among his teammates in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, he looked good driving to the rim and finding his teammates too as Milwaukee’s de facto point guard during much of the half. His seventeen and a half second-half minutes really justified why Milwaukee gave him a two-way, in my opinion.

Here are two nice moments on both ends of the floor from that third quarter:

Between the size, playmaking abilities from running point at the collegiate level, and potential defensive chops (or at least effort), you can make out a future NBA contributor if you squint. Will it happen anytime soon, though? While some draftniks really liked Moore, I heard at least one who added the caveat that perhaps the first team employing Moore might not get the best of him. That is, if he sticks in the league, his most success might come after a second or third team has given him a chance.

In keeping with what seemingly is a new focus under Adrian Griffin on versatile, athletic wings whose skillsets look well-rounded aside from shooting—or scoring in general, in Andre Jackson Jr.’s case—Moore will be one of the Bucks’ secondary developmental pieces this year behind MarJon Beauchamp, A.J. Green, and perhaps the two rookies that were actually drafted. Based on such scant exposure we’ve had to him thus far, including in Summer League, it’s nearly impossible to tell if he currently has an NBA-caliber skill in his bag. It’s likely he doesn’t.

I could see him making some nice reads in garbage time and perhaps playing some solid on-ball defense against opponents’ deep benches, but I could see him really struggling to impact the game otherwise, particularly as a scorer. His shot didn’t become very consistent in school, particularly from deep as his volume increased, though his free throw shooting improved as the years went by. He’ll certainly need to put on some muscle if he wants to venture inside the arc in search of buckets because at 190 pounds, NBA defenses won’t have much trouble thwarting his moves to the hoop.

With all that in mind, it’s pretty clear that he won’t sniff the floor come mid-April. Again, if only for the mere fact that as a two-way player and thus ineligible to appear in the postseason, one of these initial spots in our poll makes sense. He’d really have to impress and somehow find playing time during the 50 games he’ll be eligible for to gain a standard roster spot. Until then, he’ll see plenty of action with the Herd, likely as a starter and possibly alongside the Bucks’ two rookies during their probable G League assignments from time to time.


Gut Check: how confident are you that Omari Moore will be in the playoff

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    1 — Not in the rotation at all.
    (155 votes)
  • 9%
    2 — Might play a few rotation minutes here and there.
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    3 — Will get some minutes depending on the series.
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    4 — Will be a part of the rotation, playing steady minutes.
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    5 — Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
    (4 votes)
181 votes total Vote Now

With one more two-way guy still on the list, we’re not quite to the standard fifteen-man roster yet. Will that make a difference in who takes sixteenth, since Thanasis did receive more votes than Wigginton? Check back tomorrow.


The sixteenth Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s postseason success is...

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Thanasis Antetokounmpo
    (47 votes)
  • 1%
    Malik Beasley
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    MarJon Beauchamp
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Jae Crowder
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    A.J. Green
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    Chris Livingston
    (39 votes)
  • 2%
    Robin Lopez
    (4 votes)
  • 45%
    Lindell Wigginton
    (85 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now