San Antonio held the No. 30 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but the franchise known for selecting international prospects opted for an American product in UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. Instead, it was the Bucks who made a foreign player the No. 31 pick, drafting small forward Damien Inglis, who spent last season with Roanne in the French Pro A league.
Averaging just 15.3 minutes throughout 27 games, Inglis did not have ample minutes to show his wares, but managed to make an impact across the board, putting up 4.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1 assist while on the court. Adjusted per-40 minutes, the stats (12.1-9.5-2.7) project as those of a very useful role player. Toss in 1.6 steals and Inglis’ youth – he’s 19 – and you have a young piece that will complement the Giannis Antetokounmpo/Jabari Parker tandem that Milwaukee’s new ownership is banking on to lead the franchise into the future.
If it shakes out as assumed, it’s exactly what a front office hopes for from a second round pick. There is reason to believe Inglis could outgrow those expectations, however. Physically, he’ll be ready to compete in the NBA from day one. At 6’8-1/2″ and with an impressive 7’3″ wingspan, Inglis weighs in at 240 pounds and could likely guard three positions (2-3-4) in the Association. Those measurements a properly read “defensive potential” by NBA scouts. To top it off, Inglis reportedly has large hands, which is a current hot topic when discussing pro prospects.
Much like Antetokounmpo, Inglis played a wide slice of his European ball in a point-forward function, developing his passing ability and court vision while giving him active ball-handling duty in game-time minutes. His turnovers (24 percent of his possessions) could greatly improve, but his instincts and willingness to share the ball should gel well with the scorers he is set to join.
Any isolation opportunities Inglis falls into may be doomed by his lack of explosiveness and initial speed, unless he begins with the ball in the low-to-mid block, where Inglis could leverage his strong frame against opponents.
While Inglis isn’t a world-beater, he’s a building block, and that’s exactly what the Bucks need going forward with new ownership that is committed to persevering through a few rough years and building through the draft before having realistic aspirations of winning.