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Wisconsin Herd G League Expansion Draft Results

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The G League recently held an expansion draft for the 4 new teams joining the league this season. All four are direct affiliates for NBA franchises. The Erie Bayhawks (Hawks), Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies), Wisconsin Herd (Bucks), and Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers) each selected 11 players. Existing G-League teams had the right to protect 9 players each.

Many of the players drafted will not end up playing for the G League team that drafted them. Most can earn more money by playing overseas, some are already under contract at the time of this draft. And for some reason the Erie Bayhawks drafted two players currently signed to contracts with other NBA teams, Sean Kilpatrick (Nets) and Jordan Crawford (Pelicans). Another interesting move was the Agua Caliente Clippers drafting Jamil Wilson, who has already signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Herd did not use any of their 11 picks on either Bronson Koenig or Jalen Moore, who have both signed two-ways with the Bucks. Herd GM Dave Dean led the expansion draft process and came away with arguably the most impressive draft of the four expansion teams. 7 of the Herd’s picks are currently free agents, the most of any team in the draft. As a new franchise trying to fill out their roster for this season, this draft will help that process tremendously.

Here are the players the Herd drafted, by round:

Vince Hunter – 6’8” F / Free Agent
Gracin Bakumanya – 6’11” C / Free Agent
Perry Ellis – 6’8” PF / Sydney Kings (NBL, Australia)
Corey Walden – 6’2″ G / Hapoel Holon (IPL, Israel)
Josh Davis – 6’8” F / Free Agent
Michael Dunigan – 6’10” C / Free Agent
Jarvis Summers – 6’4” G / Free Agent
James Siakam – 6’6” F / Free Agent
Kyle Casey – 6’7” F / Free Agent
Cady Lalanne – 6’10” C / Enel Brindisi (LBA, Italy)
Tyler Harvey – 6’4” G / Free Agent (Orlando Magic own draft rights)

Dean hit it out of the park with his first pick as GM. Vince Hunter is a beast. The 24-year-old from Detroit played his college ball at UTEP. After going undrafted in 2015, Hunter landed with the Reno Bighorns, Houston’s affiliate. In 32 games, he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds along with 1 steal and 1 block per game. More recently he played overseas in Greece and in Russia, but is looking to make another run at the NBA. The Herd’s number one pick has a good shot at being called up at some point this season, especially while Jabari is out.

Gracin Bakumanya is a strong candidate to sign with the Herd. Bakumanya, 20 years old, is originally from the Congo. When he was 17 he came to the United States for one year of prep school in Texas. Two years ago he played 30 games with the junior affiliate of the LBA’s Antibes Sharks. While there, the then 18 year old averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per contest. Last season Bakumanya signed with the Phoenix Suns for training camp but was ultimately waived and later reacquired by the Northern Arizona Suns, although he barely saw the floor.

Perry Ellis is under contract in Australia, but could choose to come over for the last month or so of the season. Davis, Dunigan, Summers, Siakam, and Casey all played college ball in the U.S. and have all been on D-League rosters in the past. As all five are currently free agents, the Herd have the opportunity to sign multiple draftees, or even all of them, to help fill out their roster. Siakam’s older brother Pascal was a rookie last season with the Toronto Raptors.

Cady Lalanne is under contract in the top league in Italy and is unlikely to be interested in the G League. Tyler Harvey is an interesting draft pick. As I mentioned earlier, the Herd did not “waste” as many of their picks on players under contract as the other expansion teams did. However, the Orlando Magic still retain the draft rights to Tyler Harvey. He played for Orlando’s D-League team in 2015 before signing with FIAT Torino of the LBA last year.

Overall, the Herd had the best draft of the four teams. The majority of their draft picks are eligible to be signed, and I expect several to be on the roster this season. I also believe that Vince Hunter was the most talented player drafted, who isn’t already on an NBA roster.

If I were to grade Dave Dean’s first draft as GM of the Herd, it would be an A.

I’m excited to see what the roster ends up looking like for their inaugural season, and can’t wait to watch professional basketball in Oshkosh!

About Preston Dubey

Lifelong basketball fanatic and Bucks’ supporter

I coach basketball; but I eat, sleep, and breathe the game.

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