Overview: Our Rookie
Donte DiVincenzo was drafted 17th in last year’s draft over guys like Kevin Huerter, Mitchell Robinson, Landry Shamet, and Josh Okogie. He was coming fresh off of a great performance for Villanova in the NCAA Tournament where he averaged 15.0 points per game on 50% from downtown. For Milwaukee, he played in only 27 games due to injury and DNPs. He averaged 4.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.1 APG in 15.2 minutes per game. He shot 40.3% from the field and only 26.5% from three. For a guy who was drafted for his sharpshooting upside, the numbers weren’t great. However, DiVincenzo put up solid defensive numbers that prove he wasn’t a total bust this year. Per 100 possessions he had a Defensive Rating of 107.
Highlight: Natural Abilities
Every time he stepped on the floor, the shooting guard displayed excellent defensive prowess and intense hustle with unreal athleticism. Like the cliche says, “you can’t teach speed” and DiVincenzo has plenty of that. He showed off his athletic upside enough to show the tools are there, he just has to hone his craft. Speaking of honing his craft, the shooting numbers weren’t all bad. He shot 5 or more threes in 4 games, in those games he had a combined 21 attempts and made 8 of them for a respectable 38.1%. When looking at this, maybe the answer to improve DiVincenzo’s percentages is to let him take more shots and get in a better rhythm.
The first round draft pick only played 27 games. Anytime a team drafts someone in the first round, who isn’t considered a “project,” the team wants them to contribute a significant amount. DiVincenzo wasn’t able to do that. Also, coming out of college, DiVincenzo was said to be the next great sharpshooter to grace the league. However, his three point percentage did not back up this claim as he only shot 26.5% from three. This is a tough look when Kevin Huerter, who was drafted to play the same role, goes a couple picks behind you and averages almost 10 points while shooting close to 39% from three in 75 games.
DiVincenzo gets a C- grade because there hasn’t been a first round rookie for Milwaukee who has contributed as little on the court since Jason Collier back in 2000. I’m not saying he will be a below average player for his entire career, but that was the case this season.
Moving Forward: Don’t Give Up
It’s not time to give up on DiVincenzo. He is only 22 and has plenty of time to improve his game. Moving forward, the key to DiVincenzo turning into an excellent role player is to stay healthy. He seemed to be hobbled all season which probably impacted his shooting numbers. If he can stay on the court and get into a rhythm night after night, DiVincenzo can be someone that plays significant minutes for the Bucks.