The Bucks neither won nor lost in this years NBA Draft Lottery. As predicted, they were selected the 12th overall pick. After a losing season (31-35) and with a poor recent draft history (see earlier blog entry), this years draft is more important to the franchise than any other draft in sports history (ok...maybe not that important, but still pretty important). So what direction do the Bucks turn?
Most recently, the Bucks have been in contact with Connecticut center Andre Drummond. The 7-footer may be the only true center in the draft, a position the Bucks need help at desperately. Drummond has been projected high in the draft, but could also fall to the Bucks because of his work ethic. Rumor has it that the Bucks had talked with the Bobcats about trading up to the number two pick, probably to get Drummond.
If the Bucks need to trade up in the draft, who's expendable? Ellis has already expressed plans to leave Milwaukee at the end of this coming season, so it would be beneficial to the Bucks to get some long term value from him. Gooden has been shopped around the league already. Though he's aging, a good statistical season last year may have his value at it's highest level in some time. Aside from these players, everyone else (in my opinion) either has no trade value or is not expendable.
So back to my original intentions here: what do the Bucks do with the 12th pick in this draft? I would like to see the Bucks continue to play a running, fast paced type of offense, a la the Phoenix Suns of the past. In this case, they wouldn't need a prototypical NBA center like Drummond. I would rather see the Deer go in one of these directions:
Perry Jones III – P. Jones would be a great fit at PF if the Bucks should choose to play an uptempo style. He has a similar body and skill set to Kevin Durant when he was chosen 2nd in the 2007 NBA Draft. Durant registered for the draft at 6'10”, 215 lbs. Jones is a bit bigger at 6'11”, 235 lbs. (draftexpress.com). Jones is athletic and long like Durant, but is not as good of a perimeter scorer or ball handler. The Bucks could use some explosive players to compliment their endless role players. Perry Jones can be that guy. His soft touch makes him good around the basket and going at the rim, but scouts want him to develop his shot to become a more consistent scorer.
Terrence Jones – Terrance Jones has a similar body and skill set as Lebron James when he was selected 1st in the 2003 Draft. Lebron was 6'8”, 245 lbs. T. Jones registered at 6'9”, 252. T. Jones has a capable jump shot (albeit streaky) and can put the ball on the floor and beat defenders to the rim. Scouts say he has the skills and ability to play the 3 in the NBA, but is better suited for a 4 in an uptempo offense (my vision for the Bucks).
By comparing these guys to Durant and James, I'm not saying they're going to come in and be MVP's, but it does show that they have the gifts and potential to be stars at the NBA level. Both players would be explosive 3 or 4's for the Bucks. The Bucks could start Jennings, Ellis, Delfino, a Jones, and Gooden. Though they would still lack a center, they would be a tough offensive group to slow down.
The Bucks should NOT pick:
Tyler Zeller – He's another soft, role player. He could be a good answer for their lack of a center, but I don't see him being much better than a Joel Pryzbilla type.
A guard – Unless they plan on dealing Ellis, it would be stupid to draft another guard. They are stacked at the position already and have plenty of needs to address elsewhere. Rivers, Beal, Marshall, and the like are going to be good NBA players, but wouldn't help the Bucks. (Again, only if they plan on hanging on to Ellis)
Hopefully the Bucks will keep up with the Joneses and take my advice!
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stats from draftexpress.com