Examining Expectations For Damien Inglis

For a team that surprised many people, if not everyone last year, the Milwaukee Bucks still look to have some surprises in store this coming year.

While very promising, the Bucks still looked to be a few years away at the beginning of last year. In just a little over a year, however, the team has assembled what looks to be one of the more complete squads in team history as well as being anchored by one of the most talented coaches in the league in Jason Kidd.

Although that doesn’t mean they’re close to being a finished product just yet.

Questions of how well big man Greg Monroe can fit alongside this young Bucks team, as well as if Michael Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo can make a big leap during this off-season weigh heavily on all Bucks’ fans’ minds.

With all that said, there’s one player that is a mystery himself, one that the Bucks are looking to see some answers out of this year.

That player is Damien Inglis.

Admittedly, it’s hard to forecast what the coming year holds for Inglis.

He’s been a virtually unknown since he was drafted by the Bucks a little over a year ago and unfortunately, he hasn’t seen any official action on the court yet due to complications from a broken foot which he suffered during a pre-draft workout last year.

However, the Bucks hold Inglis in high regard, considering the upside surrounding him since he’s just only 20 years old and with Jared Dudley and Ersan Ilyasova gone, the Bucks have certainly opened up a spot for him to prove what kind of player he is.

Although the opportunity for steady minutes is available for him, the question remains if Inglis can return to his form from before he suffered his foot injury.

During this year’s Summer League, we got our first look of Inglis in a Bucks uniform and it was a mixed bag to say the least. He showed flashes of being an all-around player, but fatigue, as well as being under a minutes restriction in his first playing experience as an NBA player cut his Summer League time very short.

While it was certainly in the Bucks right to give him some limited action, it was not a good first impression and it definitely opened up some fans’ eyes (yours truly) to how serious the road to a full clean bill of health for Inglis has been.

However, it was going to be messy no matter what for Inglis’ return given just how serious his injury troubles have been and hopefully in the time between Summer League to the start of next season, he can get back into playing shape as well as the flow of things.

So can Inglis’ road back to full recovery translate into a significant impact for the Bucks next season?

It sounds very skeptical and pessimistic, but the thought of Inglis making a significant impact this coming season sounds a lot like wishful thinking at this point.

It’s not an indictment on what kind of a player Inglis is and can be, but given his serious injury troubles, it’s hard to expect Inglis making a big impact in what will be his rookie year.

However, any positive development this year from Inglis, as well as hopefully no setbacks regarding his foot is a victory in itself and like many other Bucks players on the roster, it’s about what type of player he is a few years down the line more than what he is now.

As it stands now, the Bucks may look to Inglis as an instant contributor at the start of next season, given Jabari Parker’s unclear return, but the team has other options available in case Inglis isn’t ready for regular minutes.

For the hardships Inglis has gone through to try to get back on the court, he certainly has the opportunity available to make a better impression and at least make a positive impact, if all goes right, this coming season.