Milwaukee Bucks: 3 development goals for Jordan Nwora in 2021-22

Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic, Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora
Jan 8, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

Although the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t had a ton of draft success in recent years, most of that is due to consistently picking late in the second round.

They may have found something with Jordan Nwora, though, the sharpshooting forward that they selected with the 46th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Heading into his second NBA season, Nwora is beginning to pick up buzz around NBA fans after some head-turning performances this offseason.

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It started in the Olympics, where Nwora scored 33 points for Nigeria vs. Germany and then followed that with a 20 point performance against Italy. He wasn’t done there, however. In his Summer League debut, Nwora dropped 30 points to lead the Summer Bucks to their only win.

Bucks fans knew Nwora could score based on his limited appearances during the 2020-21 regular season, including a couple of spot starts, but fans around the league are beginning to realize what the Louisville alum can do.

Prior to the offseason, many believed that Nwora would get a chance at cracking a real rotation spot in his second year. This was based on two things. One, he looked good as a scorer and shooter in his limited appearances, and there are always spots in the rotation for those players. Two, because the Bucks seemingly didn’t have the resources to add more players so they’d have to promote from within.

Well, the Bucks found the resources and added Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood to their wing depth, so now the 22-year-old will be fighting some NBA-ready players for minutes. It’s entirely possible that Nwora is relegated to the bench once again, but there are a few things he can work on to help potentially attain a rotation spot.

Jordan Nwora can become a better defender for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2020-21 season

This is simultaneously the most important goal and the hardest to verify as there really isn’t a surefire way to quantify defense without simply watching a lot of film. As a baseline, we can look at some metrics that attempt to quantify defense into a single number, but realistically are more of a product of their team environment than anything they do individually.

Nwora is a talented scorer, as he showcased this summer, but the question mark has always been around his effort and ability on defense. He has the frame to be a solid defender, at the very least. Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing 225 pounds, it’s not as if he has a ton of physical limitations. Heck, we’ve seen good defensive flashes in college.

There’s always the natural caveat that rookies are traditionally not very good at defense, so the hope is that he makes at least a bit of a leap in his sophomore season. He showed some nice flashes in Summer League on the defensive end, so hopefully he can take that into training camp and preseason.

The big question is whether he can do it consistently at the NBA level. I’m sure there has been a lot communicated to Nwora that if he can’t improve or bring more effort at that end, then he won’t be seeing a lot of minutes. The Bucks are a team with an identity on the defensive end, and Nwora will have to take strides to potentially heighten his chances at earning a spot. The offense is there for Nwora, but the defense will be what determines his rotation spot.