Milwaukee Bucks: How concerned should we be about D.J. Wilson’s rebounding?

GREENBURGH, NY - AUGUST 11: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GREENBURGH, NY - AUGUST 11: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

D.J. Wilson enters the league with all of the physical skills necessary to rebound at the NBA level. However, with his lack of production in college how concerned should we be with his rebounding moving forward?

Last season the Milwaukee Bucks averaged 40.4 rebounds per game, ranking them 29th in the entire NBA. Only the Dallas Mavericks, who had a record of 33-49, ranked below them.

If the Bucks want to be a significant contender in the East this season they will need to improve in this category.

One thing that will make it harder for the Bucks to improve is the availability — or lack thereof — of Jabari Parker. Jabari ranked third on the team in rebounds per game last season and will likely miss at least half of the season recovering from an ACL tear. This combined with no major additions to the team via free agency this offseason, means the team must depend on large internal improvements by its current players.

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The largest acquisition for the Bucks this offseason was first round draft pick, D.J. Wilson. Wilson is a 6’10” forward from the University of Michigan, who was drafted by the Bucks for his scoring ability and length.

Rebounding, however, was not one of Wilson’s strengths coming out of school.

At Michigan, Wilson averaged only 5.3 rebounds per game. While that was highest on the team, it also was second lowest among power forwards in Draft Express’ top 100. Studies have shown that rebounding translates better than most skills to the NBA and that Wilson’s lack of production should be a concern.

Scouts are also concerned about Wilson’s desire to rebound. DraftExpress considered rebounding to be one of Wilson’s largest weaknesses heading into the draft, citing toughness as a major factor. In Wilson’s player profile Draft Express said the following:

"“Showing little desire to throw his body around in the paint, he isn’t a high level rebounder as he prefers to avoid contact.”"

The good news is all of these issues are correctable. Wilson has the physical tool-set to rebound and it is possible that a change in coaching and mentality is all that he needs. Jason Kidd must make rebounding a priority from day one for Wilson, as well as, the team as a whole.

Wilson’s game tends to gravitate to the perimeter. He does not have an eagerness to crash the boards against other bigs. Still, with his athletic frame and tangible skill set he can grow to become at least average.

If Thon Maker can improve his rebounding significantly, or if John Henson works his way back into the rotation, average might be good enough.

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If other Bucks do not improve significantly, Wilson may have to take his rebounding to another level to make Kidd’s rotation, though. Either way, the Bucks need to improve in rebounding next season, and D.J. Wilson is a big part of that.