Milwaukee Bucks: Why Donte DiVincenzo should be motivated in 2021-22

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 20 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Dating back to the 2020 offseason, the past several months have truly been an eventful ride for Donte DiVincenzo and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Of course, his tenure with the Bucks briefly came to an end that offseason as he was included in the trade package for Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, when that deal with the Sacramento Kings fell through, DiVincenzo was brought back to the Bucks, and it seemed like they made amends by giving him the starting shooting guard spot.

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DiVincenzo took advantage of his new opportunity by having the best season of his career, putting up new career highs in several categories across the board.

Unfortunately, his season ended far earlier than expected after the guard went down in the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat, soon after undergoing ankle surgery to repair the damage. He would miss out on the team’s title run, serving as a spectator on the sidelines.

Following the title run, DiVincenzo has seemingly become the forgotten man for the Bucks, which makes some sense since he was sidelined for the latter three rounds. With an entire offseason to recover, DiVincenzo should be more motivated than ever to prove himself entering year four with the Bucks, especially with all of the potential ripple effects it will have on his future. With that said, here are three reasons DiVincenzo should be inspired heading into the 2021-22 season.

No. 1 — Donte DiVincenzo has a contract year rapidly approaching with the Milwaukee Bucks

Year four will be DiVincenzo’s most important with the Bucks because he can receive an extension following the season. The guard will be a restricted free agent, which gives Milwaukee the chance to match any offer made by opposing teams to him to keep him around. While it seems feasible to believe he could get a new deal, there are a few concerns that could make the team hesitant.

The first question mark that the Bucks might consider is DiVincenzo’s health. Throughout the first three seasons in his career, the guard has endured two season-ending surgeries. During his rookie campaign in 2019, DiVincenzo’s season came to an abrupt end following a bout with bilateral heel bursitis. He stayed healthy and had a bounce-back year the following season, but he suffered a big blow this past season after tearing a ligament in his ankle during Game 3 against Miami.

With two significant foot injuries for DiVincenzo in three years resulting in his season coming to an early end, his health has grown concerning. Would the Bucks be willing to dish out long-term cash for a player that has these problems? It could be a gamble, particularly as DiVincenzo’s timeline to return next season remains unknown. Whenever he comes back next season, whether that means being ready by opening night or not, DiVincenzo will have to prove that he can stay healthy while performing at a high level.

DiVincenzo should certainly be motivated to prove his value for this Milwaukee team, and his health could ultimately be the determining factor in that. A healthy DiVincenzo was a key piece for the Bucks this past season and one that they would likely want to keep around for the foreseeable future, without question. With the most important season of his career on deck, the 24-year-old will have a chip on his shoulder entering 2021-22 as he looks to have a bounce-back campaign.