The Milwaukee Bucks have been in action for several weeks now, but so has their G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.
Playing for the Herd is a good way for young players to get more playing time, showcasing what they might bring to the table on an NBA squad. That's exactly what is happening with Milwaukee's trio of two-way players - former first round pick TyTy Washington, Marques Bolden, and Lindell Wigginton - right now.
Yet, even though he's not a two-way player, there's one member of the Herd who has been playing some eye-catching basketball.
Back in the Bucks organization, Wenyen Gabriel is playing great basketball for Herd
Wenyen Gabriel has been solid for the Herd thus far this season. He's put up averages of 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks per contest while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor in 13 appearances. He's been doing a bit of everything for the Herd this year, stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis.
Hardcore Herd fans will know that this is not Gabriel's first stint with the Herd, as he suited up for the franchise during the 2021-22 season before departing for several NBA opportunities. Some fans (this writer) even clamored for the Bucks to kick the tires on bringing Gabriel up after Brook Lopez went under the knife due to a back procedure early in that season, but that did not ultimately pan out.
Following a recent clash against the Windy City Bulls, this writer had the chance to speak with Gabriel and asked him what it's like to be back with the Herd after an eventful detour in the NBA.
"It's good. It's like a place that I'm familiar with... My relationship with Beno (Udrih), the head coach here, he had coached me as an assistant coach when he was in New Orleans, and we have similar people obviously working around all around the Herd staff, so it's kind of like a welcome home type of situation."
Upon leaving the Herd in 2021-22 and making his way up to the big leagues, Gabriel played for the Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers, where he played the following season as well, via short-term deals. That second year with the Lakers in 2022-23 was the most prominent NBA role Gabriel has seen in his career to date, playing 15.1 minutes on average across 68 contests.
After suiting up for the Boston Celtics in training camp earlier this year, Gabriel did not make the final roster, paving the way for him to rejoin the Wisconsin Herd.
Gathering so much experience between his first and second stints with the Herd, this writer asked the big man what tips and tricks he may have picked up along the way as he played for several NBA squads in a short span.
"It was a dope experience. Obviously, a lot of those situations were temporary on 10-days, so trying to make the best out of each situation that was out there. It wasn't my first stint in the NBA, but it was my first stint with a lot of different teams, so I was meeting a lot of different people and learning different offenses, terminology, and being able to plug in and play with different groups of people and kind of add that in, so I think it was a great experience for me."
For now, the big man will likely stick around in Oshkosh as he continues to play a prominent role for the Herd nightly. If he continues to play well on both sides of the basketball, it would not to surprising if someone kicked the tires on Gabriel and brought him aboard via a 10-day or standard deal later on, perhaps even the Bucks.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks (and Wisconsin Herd) analysis.