Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways from 2018 NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 9: (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 9: (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Not a lost cause…yet

After what was essentially a lost rookie season, all eyes were on D.J. Wilson as he showed up for his second Summer League as a member of the Bucks.

Wilson played sparingly with Milwaukee as a rookie, and never really was given a sustained spell with the Wisconsin Herd in the G League either. That left many eager to write Wilson off as an NBA player, but the reality is there’s so little to work with in terms of opportunity and sample size that such an assessment is likely a little premature.

There’s by no means any guarantee that Wilson will pan out, and it’s safe to say he’s in a position of needing to make up ground to remain in the league long-term, but in Vegas he offered some glimpses as to what a fully-realized version of his game could be.

In spite of what many hoped for, Wilson’s frame is unlikely to afford him a future at center, even though it’s worth noting that he looks significantly stronger than he did 12 months ago. Instead, Wilson’s future likely involves him being a versatile power forward.

Wilson is not the kind of player with a go-to strength, which would seem to significantly limit his ceiling and be the cause of great concern for those looking for a glimmer of hope in his game. What Wilson does offer, though, is a well-rounded base of skills that could allow him to be an impactful rotation contributor in a variety of ways.

It’s not all that likely Wilson will ever be a starter on a playoff-caliber team, but if he can apply himself with the right attitude in the coming years, his mix of feel when it comes to shooting, handling and passing, and his instinct for bold defensive plays could make him a quirky rotational big man with a viable path to a meaningful NBA career.

Wilson may not be what Bucks fans hoped he could have been, or what would necessarily be expected of a first round pick, but he could yet grow into a Boris Diaw-esque role player. To get to a level where he can live up to that kind of billing consistently will still take a lot of work, though.