Gonzaga’s Drew Timme wasn’t one of the 58 players to hear his name called Thursday night, but the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer could still have a chance to establish a role within one of the NBA’s top organizations.
Hours after the two-round NBA draft ended at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Timme signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
With an Exhibit 10 deal, the Bucks will essentially give Timme a one-year, minimum-salary NBA deal with the option to convert his contract to a two-way contract if that change is made before the season begins.
NBA teams are allotted six Exhibit 10 contracts, but Timme could potentially benefit from new legislation that gives organizations three two-way contracts — one more than they were allowed last season.
Under a two-way contract, a player is able to spend up to 50 games with his NBA team while also playing for that organization’s G League affiliate.
If the Bucks convert Timme’s Exhibit 10 deal to a two-way contract, he’d have a chance to split time between the NBA team in Milwaukee and the G League Wisconsin Herd, based in nearby Oshkosh.
On an Exhibit 10 deal, Timme is not guaranteed any NBA salary, but if he sticks with the Bucks through training camp, he could be converted into a two-way deal. Currently, Milwaukee has Lindell Wigginton on one of those for next year and will reportedly sign Omari Moore to another. Thanks to the new CBA, teams will have three two-way slots moving forward instead of the previous two.
In the meantime, it seems very likely that Timme will be a part of the Bucks’ Summer League squad next month in Vegas. Should that go well enough, he’ll head north with the team for training camp in September. If not, the Bucks can cut him at any point with no penalty.
While at Gonzaga, Timme played his freshman season as a reserve, starting only four of 33 games played. He broke out in his sophomore season, however, increasing his productivity to 19 points per game and seven rebounds per game.
Timme was named a consensus first-team All-American his senior year, averaging 21.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
The Bucks used their draft picks on UConn’s Andre Jackson (in a trade with Orlando Magic) and Kentucky’s Chris Livingston with the final pick.
Timme averaged 21.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.0 BPG this past season as well as 17.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.4 APG over his Gonzaga career but that still wasn’t enough to get himself drafted. It’s a known fact that NBA teams are staying away from traditional big men. A few of last season’s best power forwards/centers in the college game went undrafted along with Timme (Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe and UConn’s Adama Sanogo).
The Gonzaga star will have to prove that he is ready for the speed of the NBA game and continue to develop his jump shot to go along with his spectacular post moves. The Milwaukee Bucks enter an uncertain offseason after parting ways with longtime coach Mike Budenholzer, who led the franchise to an NBA championship two seasons ago. Despite earning a top seed in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee bowed out of the postseason with a first-round loss to the Miami Heat.
It’s still unclear whether the Bucks will re-sign 7-foot-1 veteran center Brook Lopez or All-Star small forward Khris Middleton. The only other center listed on Milwaukee’s roster is Meyers Leonard.
Timme left Gonzaga as one of the most accomplished players in program history, breaking Frank Burgess’ school scoring record that previously stood for 60 years. Timme became the first player in school history to score more than 2,200 points, finishing with 2,307.
A two-time WCC Player of the Year, Timme also obliterated the school record for most career points in the NCAA tournament (301), more than doubling the previous record held by Adam Morrison. Timme, who helped the Zags reach the national championship game in 2021, also set an NCAA record with 10 different 20-point games in the NCAA tournament.
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