A second year veteran out of Michigan, DJ Wilson has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play in his first year with the Milwaukee Bucks. Wilson was general manager Jon Horst first ever draft pick and so far, it does not look pretty. Wilson was seen more as a project that would go back and forth between the G-League affiliate Wisconsin Herd and the Milwaukee Bucks, but as shown out as a G-League threat who might need more time to develop. Maybe year 2 will be it?
As a rookie, you can’t expect valuable minutes on a playoff team unless your name is Donovan Mitchell and play for the Utah Jazz. This is how DJ Wilsons rookie season played out under former head coach Jason Kidd.
(Per game stats)
Games Played: 22
As you can easily see, Wilson did not have as much of an impact on the Bucks as Wilsons draft partner Sterling Brown who was taken the round later. DJ only really played in garbage time but showed a few times what he is capable of, getting rebounds and posting up on the perimeter. Maybe Coach Bud will use the lanky Michigan product differently, resulting in a lot better stat line.
Areas for improvement:
Literally every single stat has room for improvement. A lot of it is due to playing time and DJ not taking advantage of it in the garbage minutes either up or down 30. Obviously, once his playing time improves so will his stats. Looking like a very raw prospect, DJ should spend a little bit more time in Oshkosh with the Herd to get used to playing against NBA talent instead of a miraculous tournament run against a few decent teams.
Projected Role: Off the bench shooter
There is very little film on DJ Wilson except for the crazy March Madness run the University of Michigan went on to the final game of thebig dance. If Wilson can get over this nagging injury that seems like it’s never going to end., I feel like his role in this new system would be come off the bench and score points in bunches. Wilson has the size (6’10”) to bang with the big boys in the paint. All Bucks fans hope the former first round pick can find his rhythm this year under a new, player friendly head coach.
Projected Key Stat: Rebounds
At 6’10” in the NBA you are almost guaranteed to pull in a reasonable amount of boards night in and night out. Everyone knows DJ Wilson can shoot the lights out but Budenholzers scheme has an emphasis on 3 point shooting. We know the shooting ability but there has to be at least one other factor that can make a player more versatile. Rebounding was the worst stat for the Bucks by a large margin. If Wilson can get rebounds and hit 3s at a reasonable rate he will have found his role with his first NBA squad. If Wilson can grab 5-6 boards a game and give the deer some second chance opportunities, it could make DJ Wilson a solid role player.
Some NBA players can make a living by playing incredible defense, then their game grows from there. Wilson is tall and pretty swole so he has the size to go neck to neck with some of the NBA elites if he shows his willingness. Perhaps If he can up his number of blocks and steals and defensive boards that should take a lot of pressure off of Giannis and other offensive mismatches.