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For the first time in what feels like forever, the Milwaukee Bucks finally have multiple rookies on the roster. They selected Jordan Nwora and Sam Merrill in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft this offseason and signed Mamadi Diakite to a two-way deal as well.
For a contending team like the Bucks, having young talent coming up Cheap Milwaukee Bucks Jerseys to replace aging players for cheap is vital. They were one of the oldest teams in the league last year and made a bit of progress toward youth with these guys, but are still the fifth-oldest team in the NBA in terms Cheap Kyle Korver Jersey of average age.
The number would have gone down more if they had drafted one-and-done 19-year-olds, but they brought in three guys with a total of 11 years of college experience between them. These are guys they are hoping can contribute sooner rather than later, which has made it even more head-scratching why none of them have gotten much run apart from garbage time. They have been able to play here and there and show what they can do, as well as a few games in the G-League that we’ll take Cheap Mamadi Diakite Jersey a look at.
As a note, these grades are not a grade of the draft pick because that hasn’t had enough time to play out yet. They’re simply a grade of how well each guy has played with the opportunities he’s gotten and where he is relative to his expectations.
At 24 years old, Merrill doesn’t have much time to be a “developmental player” in the NBA. His 2021-2022 contract also isn’t guaranteed, so he needs to be contributing now if he wants to hold onto his roster spot, and it’s not likely he’s a much sought Cheap Sam Merrill Jersey out guy because the Bucks took him with the final pick in the draft.
The reason that the Milwaukee Bucks took Merrill was obvious; he’s a three-point sharpshooter. In his four-year career at Utah State, Merrill shot a scorching 42 percent from behind the arc on 5.8 attempts per game. They were obviously hoping he’d be a cheap and young replacement for the role Kyle Korver played last season.
So far, in a very small sample size, that shooting ability has carried over to the NBA. He’s made five of his ten shots from deep, exactly half, which is a phenomenal pace if he can do it in regular minutes against real Cheap Jordan Nwora Jersey NBA talent and not other garbage time players.
What we can really dive into more with Merrill are the five games he played in the G-League. In these games, you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell that he was an NBA-Draft pick, unlike most of the other players. He averaged a respectable 11.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists, but on an ugly shooting line of 34.9 from the field, 34.4 from three, and .167 from the line. Yes, he was 1-for-6 on free throws.
He really struggled to score from anywhere on the court other than behind the arc and didn’t do a ton to contribute in other areas either. Being just a three-point threat is ok if you’re really good at it, but Merrill hasn’t proven he’s a knockdown NBA shooter and his lack of explosion keeps him on the bench.
G-League performance isn’t everything, but not having the ability to go down there and take control of games is slightly worrying. His defense is also a major concern and a big part of why he’s seen so much pine this season. He’s slow-footed and lacks the athleticism to keep up with just about anyone in the Association.
Merrill has shown just enough three-point potential in his few games to warrant a grade better than an F, but he needs to make improvements on defense and other areas fast if he’s going to see the floor for the Milwaukee Bucks in any capacity this year.