Wisconsin Herd proud of successful inaugural season
OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Nearly two years ago it was just an idea. Now the Milwaukee Bucks can’t imagine what its organization would be like without the Wisconsin Herd.
“It’s worth every penny that we’ve spent on it," said Herd general manager Dave Dean. "We used to send guys to other G-League teams and to not be able to touch your own guys and develop your own guys is huge. That’s really what this is about first and foremost, it’s about developing Bucks and to be able to do that right in our own backyard with the amazing fan support we have here, it’s just incredible.”
The Herd has given several younger Milwaukee Bucks, like last year's first round draft pick, D.J. Wilson get more minutes on a professional court. It has aided in Jabari Parker's recovery from injury and even helped give former rookie of the year, Brandon Jennings another shot in the NBA.
“I think there were a lot of wins that don’t show up in the win-loss column that we had this year as a team, as a development organization for the Bucks," said Herd head coach Jordan Brady. "You have to take that stuff into consideration. Selfishly, on my end, you want to win those basketball games but there’s more to it than just the wins and the losses without question.”
Brady was named the Wisconsin Herd’s first head coach last August. One of the things he said he'd continue to improve on in year two is handling a roster that is constantly changing.
“It's something that you always expect, but how to handle each situation is different," said Brady. "You lose players to call ups or injuries or their two-way assignments and you have to be able to figure out how to play without those guys and to get guys to stay motivated when their role is changing night to night.”
“Jordan’s done a really, really good job with these guys," said Dean. "He’s exactly the right man for the job, he’s lived up to everything I thought he could be and he has stuff to learn as do I. He and I challenge each other all the time, we’re both doing this for the first time in our first season.”
Dean also explained how the organization has utilized the league's new two-way contracts. Over the course of the season the Bucks have signed Xavier Munford and Marshall Plumlee among others two-way deals. The contracts allow players to move between the NBA and G-League with an increase in salary when they are promoted. Players on two-way contracts can spend up to 45 days in the NBA.
“If you look at the production from our two-way guys for the Bucks, it’s in the top-five in the league of what we got minutes wise, points per game, games played ," said Dean. "I think we’ve done a good job with it.”