Milwaukee Bucks: Latest updates on Donte DiVincenzo’s injury

Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

As we near the beginning of NBA training camps on Monday, September 27th, there are new updates to various injuries around the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks are one such team with an injury to a significant member of the roster as Donte DiVincenzo recovers from ankle surgery.

You may remember that DiVincenzo suffered the injury during the first-round series against the Miami Heat in Game 3. He, of course, didn’t return for the remainder of the playoffs, allowing P.J. Tucker to enter the starting lineup and the rest is history.

While it’s expected that DiVincenzo will be available at some point this season, The Athletic’s David Aldridge (subscription required) provided an update on the 24-year-old’s recovery by stating that he has not yet been cleared for training camp.

Although the news is not surprising to fans, it’s good to receive an update on the young Bucks guard. There was no initial timeline after DiVincenzo had the surgery, with the last update coming on July 30th from Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying that he was ahead of schedule in his rehab.

The impact of Donte DiVincenzo not being cleared for Milwaukee Bucks training camp

While nothing should change in regards to the Bucks plans with DiVincenzo not being cleared for camp, it still leaves a hole to fill in the starting lineup in the likely event that he’s not ready for the season opener on October 19th against the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge notes in his column that “Pat Connaughton is the likely replacement” for DiVincenzo in the starting lineup, but there could be a change there as well. Tucker was the replacement for DiVincenzo in the playoffs, but many initially expected it to be Connaughton when the injury first occurred.

We’ve looked at the potential options for who could slot in at the starting shooting guard spot for the Bucks if DiVincenzo was unable to be ready for the beginning of the season. Connaughton was one of the names that was looked at in the article and it is easy to see why. Both players have a similar playstyle with a mix of shooting, athleticism, and rebounding for their position. It would be a pretty natural fit for Connaughton as he saw a lot of time with the starting lineup in the playoffs and performed quite well.

The Bucks also could go to Grayson Allen, who they acquired in a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies in the offseason. Allen has a similar athletic profile to DiVincenzo and Connaughton but is a far better shooter while not providing the same rebounding prowess. If the Bucks want to add more floor spacing for Giannis Antetokounmpo, then putting Allen in the starting lineup would certainly do that.

There are other fringe options such as Rodney Hood in the starting lineup to begin the season, but there are always injury concerns surrounding him as well as performance questions stemming from his injury recovery.

While Milwaukee has options for who to replace their young, athletic guard with while he rehabs his injury, there is little doubt that DiVincenzo’s shooting, ball handling, and defense will be sorely missed. However, no matter how long the injury recovery takes, the most important thing is to get DiVincenzo back when he’s fully ready.

There is no pressure on the Bucks in the regular season, so priority number one will be to make sure DiVincenzo (and the entire team) is healthy, rested, and ready to go for another long playoff run.

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Hopefully, DiVincenzo is close and doesn’t have to miss too much training camp and preseason.