Jason Kidd, the Milwaukee Bucks head coach, said that D.J. Wilson “fit the team’s DNA” after drafting him 17th overall in the NBA Draft.
As Wilson was introduced to the team today in Milwaukee, Kidd said there will “unusual freedom” for the ex-Michigan forward.
The 6-foot-10 Wilson has always had a different type of personality, on and off the court, and the Bucks have showed nothing but love for it to this point.
On the court, Wilson is going to see a lot of different schemes designed to let him show his full playing ability.
“You’re going to see some of him take a rebound, bring it down,” Kidd said. “He’s very comfortable with the ball. You see him start the offense. ... We’re not going to tell him not to bring the ball up. We want to see him at his best. He can find guys, he can shoot it. But we want him to be a basketball player. That’s the plan this summer.”
Wilson is ready to take on that role.
“Especially at this level, to have an opportunity to do things like that is definitely exciting,” Wilson said.
At Michigan, Wilson was somewhat limited in that category of the game. John Beilein had a lot of other people pushing the ball and starting the offense, leaving Wilson to flow into it more.
The Bucks want to see more of what he can do in every aspect of the game, including bringing the ball up at times and having more options to pass and start plays.
As for his off the court self, Wilson presented himself in a way that most would expect him to through his fashion: differently.
For those enraptured by D.J. Wilson's suit, he said he got it about 3 weeks before the draft. Had no idea it would work out so perfectly.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 26, 2017
He wore a dark colored Bucks-green suit, with no tie and a white buttoned up shirt. He was dressed just like his personality, just different than what most people would present themselves like.
A lot like his pre-draft process, staying silent towards any type of media and not saying much at all after announcing he wouldn't be returning to Michigan on the May 24 deadline, electing to stay in the NBA Draft field.
“I only had about four weeks leading up to the draft so I just stayed back, did what my agent and agency guided me to do and just had pro day,” Wilson said.
The Bucks weren't exactly a team that Wilson was in contact with often before the draft. Other than a brief meeting and the fact that they had watched his pro day, Wilson didn't think much of it.
Bucks general manager Jon Horst explained how they went about deciding their first pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.
“The draft process is interesting,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. “Workouts are important, spending time in your home (court) is important. But ultimately you watch these guys through their entire careers and in between we’re spending tremendous amounts of time watching them on film, we’re calling former coaches, people in their high schools, their AAU systems, we’re getting background and intel so we’re building a profile. Those other pieces are small parts of the puzzle, other pieces of the puzzle. We felt very confident what we were able to accomplish through this process.”
Now that he is in Milwaukee and looked deeper into the roster, Wilson understands why they took a chance on him.
“The Bucks organization is calm versatility and that’s something that I bring to the court,” he said
Wilson didn't even come to New York for the event itself, but instead decided it would be better for him to stay with 15 friends at home in Sacramento, California and watch it from there.
Wilson chose to be “low key for the rest of the night” and just go to dinner after the draft.
During the press conference today, Wilson touched on how he wanted to improve his strength and make it a goal to gain muscle. At Michigan, he already started on that journey by gaining 25 pounds of pure muscle.
Kidd and Wilson both noted that it would be a focal point of the concentration at the NBA level, but also said that he has already showed a great work ethic and his past proves that.
Wilson touched more on that when he gave credit to Beilein.
“It was great to play under him the last three years,” Wilson said. “I think the No. 1 thing that I learned from him is just preparation. Always be prepared and he’s real old school. Playing for a coach like that he’s not scared to get in your face. I think he’s helped prepare me for this level.”
Wilson will wear the No. 5 jersey for the Bucks. He explained his twitter handle “Lanky_Smoove” as a nickname he picked up in sophomore or junior year of high school from AAU friends. It's one he kept because it fits his body type with the 7-foot-3 wingspan and his playing style which is smooth.
No matter how new this territory of the NBA is for Wilson, he won't change who he is.
D.J. Wilson is D.J. Wilson, and that is something the Bucks couldn't pass up on.