Milwaukee Bucks: Thoughts on signing Javin DeLaurier to a camp deal

COLUMBIA, SC - MARCH 24 (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - MARCH 24 (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

After a rather quiet few weeks, the Milwaukee Bucks have certainly been busy on this Friday night after making some unexpected roster moves.

The first was waiving fan-favorite big man Mamadi Diakite, as first reported by Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw. The Diakite news has understandably been a hot topic of conversation over the past few hours, which has overshadowed the other move made by the Bucks. As reported by Spotrac’s Keith Smith, the Bucks have signed Javin DeLaurier to a non-guaranteed training camp deal. Instantly upon hearing the news, most fans are curious as to who DeLaurier is, considering he is not a household NBA name, and just how he could potentially help the Bucks heading into camp. Let us take a closer look at the forward and see what he brings to the table.

Does Javin DeLaurier spark any reason for optimism after signing a training camp contract with the Milwaukee Bucks?

It was evident that the Bucks needed to bulk up their frontcourt even before waiving Diakite, as the center position is rather thin. Milwaukee has two reliable veteran pieces in Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, but the depth behind them, particularly now, is scarce. Sandro Mamukelashvili is an exception, but the recently selected second round pick is likely to see most of his minutes this year in the G-League with the Wisconsin Herd.

Adding more sizeable bodies should be a priority for the Bucks after waiving Diakite, and it looks like they want to take a flyer on DeLaurier. The big man stands at a hulking 6-foot-10 and weighs in at 237 pounds, which certainly fits the criteria that the Bucks are looking to add. While he fits the billing in that regard, DeLaurier’s previous experience playing at the highest level might not be the most eye-catching.

The 23-year-old forward played four years at Duke and averaged 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 114 games played. After going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft, DeLaurier spent time down in the G-League with the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets’ affiliate team. He did not impress in his time with the Swarm by averaging 2.9 points and 3.3 rebounds across seven games this past season. He had a brief stint with the Niagra River Lions of the Canadian Elite Basketball League in the early part of the year, finishing as a finalist for their Defensive Player of the Year Award. He then joined the Atlanta Hawks for the 2021 Summer League.

While DeLaurier’s numbers do not stand out, one interesting thing is his rebounding ability. It was something he was known for at Duke and has shown in his brief G-League and Summer League stints. Having a young big man to clean up the boards would not be a bad idea for the Bucks, but it feels odd to say that since they just cut a player in Diakite that fit the exact same description. It is an odd string of moves for the team to have made, but it is just a camp deal for DeLaurier, after all.

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DeLaurier will not be the answer for Milwaukee’s issues in the frontcourt, but perhaps they are looking around the market for another big man to bolster the bench.