8. D.J. Wilson
Undoubtedly the highest riser in these rankings from the start of the season until now is D.J. Wilson.
But then one night in Detroit, Wilson got a chance to play meaningful minutes and had the best game of his career, and hasn’t looked back since.
Since then, Wilson has arguably been the Bucks’ most consistent bench player on both ends, displaying versatile and suffocating defense and hitting 44 percent of his three-point attempts.
His shooting may grab the headlines, but what’s really caught my eye from Wilson has been his defense.
The potential for Wilson was pretty much always on the offensive end with his athleticism and shooting ability. But his defense, from stonewalling bigger forwards in the post to keeping up with guards by moving his feet, has been eye-opening.
Wilson’s versatility on the defensive end has made him more valuable than I would have ever thought he could be after last season.
He’s still only 22, practically a pup when it comes to the NBA and is on a rookie contract. He’s a former first round pick and is beginning to play like it.
Other NBA teams may not be as familiar and may not rate him as highly, but right now the argument can be made he’s the Bucks most valuable asset outside of the starting lineup.
That is something I never expected to be arguing.
He still has to show that he can perform this well over an entire season, but if he can even marginally keep it up, he could be a key piece for the Bucks moving forward, and a valuable asset.