Instant reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks signing Luca Vildoza

Jul 29, 2021: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2021: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Milwaukee Bucks did have an open roster spot, it did not seem likely that they would fill it after the entire Tyreke Evans situation did not pan out as many hoped. With four games left to play on the regular season schedule, Milwaukee’s roster seemed to be set in stone, but it appears that they will now add a 15th man right before the playoffs begin in quite a surprising twist.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Luca Vildoza is expected to sign a deal with the Bucks through the 2022-23 NBA season. As noted by Wojnarowski, Vildoza’s agent, Alex Saratsis of Octagon Sports, who also represents Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Bucks’ GM Jon Horst are expected to agree upon the deal in the coming days. Vildoza will be active for the playoffs as the Milwaukee Bucks prepare for their highly-anticipated title defense in the coming weeks.

Instant reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly signing Luca Vildoza

As alluded to earlier, this is some surprising news. Adding a player this late in the year was not on many bingo cards for the Bucks, especially one without any legitimate NBA experience like Vildoza.

The 26-year-old has spent the last several years playing for Saski Baskonia in the Liga ACB league, and he has carved out a role for himself there as a solid two-way guard. In 96 appearances, he had averaged 8.6 points on a .435/.353/.852 slash line, three assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in just a tick under 21 minutes per game, according to Basketball Reference. Interestingly enough, he was also a Liga ACB Champion in 2020, where he also won the ACB Finals MVP. That résumé is an intriguing one for the guard, which makes this move all the more interesting on Milwaukee’s end.

In all likelihood, Vildoza will not be playing a significant role for the defending champions anytime soon here. This signing is eerily similar to Milwaukee’s signing of Elijah Bryant before the playoffs last year, as he also came from overseas to give the team some added depth. Vildoza will do just that, giving the Bucks their 15th to head into the playoffs with an extra body for depth purposes. As was also the case with Bryant, perhaps the Bucks saw something they liked in Vildoza that was compelling enough to bring him in this late in the season. Though he had been sidelined recently due to foot surgery, Wojnarowski added that the guard is fully healthy and ready to hit the floor.

In short, this is not a needle-tipping move for the defending champions, but it is one that makes sense to shore up their depth. Given that the contract runs through 2022-23, perhaps the team wants to bring Vildoza aboard to get a head start and assess his potential for next year. However, that is just pure speculation. Whatever is the reasoning behind this move, it will be interesting to see how the newcomer fits with the Bucks upon arriving in Milwaukee once this deal is finalized.

Next. The pros and cons of the Milwaukee Bucks starting Wesley Matthews. dark

For now, welcome to Milwaukee, Luca!