The World Champion Milwaukee Bucks (1-4) fall to the Denver Nuggets (2-3), 94-87, inside the Thomas & Mack Center this afternoon in the final game for Milwaukee in the Vegas Summer League.
I’m just happy Milwaukee was able to get at least one win. Summer League to me isn’t necessarily about wins and losses, although it’s always fun to win, but it’s more about development and getting experience for guys that have a chance at making the roster and/or guys like Nwora and Diakite that didn’t get much burn last season.
Sandro Mamukelashvili had a pretty good game this afternoon, scoring 20 points on 8-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and 7 rebounds and a block in 22 minutes, but did have three turnovers.
Former Wisconsin Badger D’Mitrik Trice made a name for himself today. Trice led Milwaukee with 24 points on 10-of-16 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range with 3 assists and 1 rebound in 26 minutes.
Jordan Nwora didn’t play this afternoon, which I was fine with after he had a brutal Summer League and also to give other guys a chance.
The problem is Nwora has a guaranteed contract and has an NBA skill, so it’s a safe assumption that Milwaukee won’t cut him this fall. But all I can say is this: I can’t say I’m all that optimistic about him ever being rotation-worthy (at least not in the near term).
NBA training camp begins on September 28th with the NBA regular season starting on October 19th.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bucks manage the roster.
Following the Thanasis and Kalaitzakis signings, the Bucks have 16 on the roster (if I’m doing my math correctly) with Mamukelashvili occupying one of the two two-way contracts. They could carry that many through camp, but Elijah Bryant (who I’m high on) is the presumptive guy to get waived prior to the start of the season. Although, Bryant could be kept using the other two-way contract.
I would have expected Milwaukee to carry 14 guys into the regular season to: A) Keep a spot open for a potential buyout guy and B) Not carry potential tax deadweight. But given tax is based on end of season roster, we’ll likely see at least some more moves around margins.
That’s why, at least for now with a full roster, the Giorgos signing isn’t really a cost saving move per se — much cheaper from a tax perspective to just keep their last roster spot open. But the season is long and can always make other moves to manage their ultimate tax situation.