Milwaukee Bucks: Three rookies are showing potential despite limited time

Jan 30, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 30, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Louisville Cardinals: Jordan Nwora, Virginia Cavaliers: Mamadi Diakite
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – MARCH 07: (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks brought in three promising rookies this past offseason, and each has shown the potential to become something special down the line.

However, they have primarily taken a backseat in the team’s current plans this season as Milwaukee remains among the most prominent contenders chasing an NBA title. With the average age of the roster being 27 years old, the Bucks are a team mostly comprised of savvy veterans.

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This predicament puts their younger players, aside from third-year guard Donte DiVincenzo, in a difficult spot as they try to get accustomed to the NBA.

Typically, the Bucks could send these younger players to Oshkosh to get playing time with the Wisconsin Herd, their G-League affiliate. The Herd has been a great place for players to develop, as they hosted the league’s MVP and MVP runner-up last season in Frank Mason III and Jaylen Adams.

However, the Herd opted out of the G-League season, and that has scattered the rookies all over the place looking for playing time. With that being said, here is how each of Milwaukee’s three rookies have fared in their individual ventures thus far.

Milwaukee Bucks rookie Mamadi Diakite continues showing untapped potential in the G League.

After going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft, Mamadi Diakite landed a two-way deal with the Bucks.

The rookie forward from the University of Virginia has yet to log a single minute of playing time with the team. Instead, Diakite has been playing in the NBA’s G-League ‘bubble’ site in Lake Buena Vista, Florida as a member of the Lakeland Magic.

In ten appearances with the Magic, the 24-year-old has been catching some attention for his surprising efforts. In those games, Diakite has averaged 17.6 points on .575/.500/.762 shooting splits, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game.

Tallying more than 20 points and 10 rebounds in four of his nine appearances, the undrafted big man has shown significant upside for the Bucks. Rumors continue to swirl that they are still monitoring swingman P.J. Tucker on the trade market to bolster their frontcourt depth, but perhaps Diakite’s recent play could have the turn some heads in his direction instead.

The Bucks could certainly use another big man on the roster, and the answer could be just one call away. Although it is a small sample size, Diakite’s early outing in the G League showcases that he could turn into something special moving forward with this franchise.