It's almost time!
In preparation for the big event on Thursday, we've put together a collection of scouting reports, videos, and other interesting links for some of the most-discussed Bucks draft prospects. This is one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory, and none of us can say with any real certainty who will go where, but much of the talk coming out of the Bucks' draft camp has seemingly narrowed the field down to a few players.
The Bucks appear set on a wing player at their current position. Alec Burks is reportedly still the frontrunner, with Klay Thompson and Marshon Brooks sitting behind him on the draft board. But that also depends on who you talk to--Chad Ford has the Bucks going with Thompson and Jonathan Givony still has the Bucks going with Marcus Morris. Of course, the rumors are flying as well. Some have been reasonable, some not so much. It seems like at this point we've discussed the possibility of trading up, down, and sideways, as well as trading players for picks (Ersan for a mid/late first-rounder seems a popular move).
Management has understandably maintained a relative air of secrecy throughout this whole process, complicated only by the suddenly numerous rumors and an occasional blurb during workouts and such. Combine that secrecy with the chaos coming out of other teams' offices and we're left with loose footing when it comes to making predictions. So for now we can only really recommend reading up on your favorite prospects, and keep those fingers crossed!
First, let's try to summarize some of the biggest rumors we've heard, and gauge the "truth factor" (loosely defined as the possibility each rumor is true, not the likelihood of it actually happening) of each of them. Note that the "truth factor" is lacking in scientific evidence or merit, and is mostly just a made-up number.
The Bogut Blockbuster: The Timberwolves' local ESPN affiliate let this one out of the bag, and it blew up pretty quick. It would already be done if it had been offered, most likely. Don't sweat it. Truth Factor: NOTHIN' DOIN'
Givin' Knicks High-Tens: The reported deal, popping up on Twitter and RealGM message boards, would have the Knicks sending #17/Turiaf/Douglas to the Bucks for #10/Gooden, contingent on Jimmer Fredette being available at 10. If the Bucks aren't sold on anybody at their current position, this deal allows them to shed an unfavorable contract and grab 2 useful players in return, while dropping back just a little ways in the draft. Plausible, but there hasn't been much confirmation from traditional media outlets to suggest this is really going to happen, and Jimmer could very well be gone before the Bucks' selection. Truth Factor: 45%
Boostin' Houston: Per Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Milwaukee is apparently considering trading back with Houston if a certain prospect isn't available at 10. Milwaukee would land the 14th and 23rd picks. Houston GM Daryl Morey always seems interested in moving around in the draft, but it's worth wondering who would make him so anxious to move up just 4 spots. If Houston is interested, though, and Milwaukee really isn't high on anybody available at 10, this would seem a good deal for the Bucks. Truth Factor: 55%
Boostin' Houston Part Deux: Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times notes that the Bucks and Rockets have also discussed adding players to their trade, most likely centering around Ersan Ilyasova and Patrick Patterson. The Bucks were high on Patterson during last year's draft and would almost certainly have selected him at 15 if the Rockets hadn't done so with the previous pick. Patterson appeared in 52 games for the Rockets last year and posted some nice per-36 stats of 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. He was efficient, too, shooting almost 56% from the floor. Truth Factor: 65%
The Indiana Option: Another trade-back scenario that has been mentioned would have the Bucks sending the 10th pick to the Pacers in exchange for the 15th pick and Brandon Rush. Rush isn't a particularly good player, but would add some depth on the wings. It's a deal to consider if the Bucks aren't particularly high on anybody at 10, but the Houston variants seem more attractive. Truth Factor: 40%
June 22 Update: The Summer of George: Per DraftExpress, the San Antonio Spurs supposedly offered George Hill in exchange for the #10 pick. San Antonio has, reportedly, been aggressive in their efforts to trade into the lottery this year. Hill is a very capable backup point guard, but he's also already 25 years old. It feels like the Bucks could find somebody with higher upside if they just keep the pick. Truth Factor: 90%
There is truly an incredible range of options open to Milwaukee. Frank noted in a previous post that not only are these rumors complicated in themselves, but it's possible that the Bucks are working with a series of "contingency plans." We can't be sure which deal, if any, management prefers, but it seems possible that the Houston or Indiana trades could be "back-up plans" should the conditions for the New York trade fall through. Or they could both be posturing. The next 36 hours are going to be very exciting.
We've also consolidated a whole bunch of scouting reports and links, plus quick takes from the Brew Hoop staff on each prospect. Enjoy!
Note: Full ESPN scouting report links are Insider-only
Alec Burks - SG, Colorado
Steve von Horn: I like Burks for his ability to operate in wing-isolation sets and to create opportunities with the ball in his hands in pick and roll situations, which would take some pressure off of miscast creators like John Salmons and Carlos Delfino.
Dan Sinclair: He's an efficient scorer and he's got great playmaking skills for a 2. I've seen too many good reports on Burks to back off him now.
Frank Madden: Burks is the wing with the biggest home run potential: an efficient, volume scorer with good measureables, an instinctive ability to create shots AND he's still just 19.
Alex Boeder: Already scores at a high rate despite not making many threes and taking and missing too many pull-up jumpers. Looking at this 19 year-old glass half-full.
Klay Thompson - SG, Washington St.
SVH: I don’t really think he will be a good isolation player or creator in the NBA, but his size, precise footwork, and refined shooting ability would still offer immediate help to the offense.
DS: He might be the "safest" pick in the draft, and his range would help space the floor, but Burks has the higher ceiling in my opinion.
FM: I love his shot and think he has a higher floor than Burks--maybe a Francisco Garcia-type--but I'm not drafting a guy in the lottery just because he can park in the corner and shoot threes. Thankfully he's more well-rounded than that, but overall he's a fairly safe, unexciting pick.
AB: Not convinced that he will be some prodigious NBA offensive threat after he maxed out with a 43.6 FG% as a junior, though he scores at a nice rate per possession and seems aware of his strengths. Not so much star power potential, it appears... and at #10, I would shoot for the stars. A pun, or something along those lines.
Marshon Brooks - SG, Providence
SVH: His sudden appearance and rapid rise in a shallow SG pool has me worried. He loves isolation basketball, but he isn’t a good passer, isn’t a good creator, and hasn’t shown the ability to effectively play off the ball.
DS: His stats are inflated by his college system and he seems like a prototypical gunner. Kobe comparisons just seem like exaggerations, but I can't deny he could be a star.
FM: He might be the most complete scorer in the draft, but he's also the oldest (turns 23 next January). I wouldn't mind snatching him up with a trade down, but I can't talk myself into taking him over Burks.
AB: If he is the real deal scorer some think he is, Brooks is ideal. But I am skeptical that his one-on-one tendencies will translate well to the NBA.
Bismack Biyombo - PF/C, International
SVH: The age question is still a big issue, and it’s tough to gamble on a guy like Biyombo with offensive needs being so pressing, but the hype machine has made his defense and rebounding a hot commodity for any team.
DS: A frontcourt of Bogut/Biyombo would almost certainly be the best defensive combo in the NBA, but it would put a ton of pressure on the other 3 guys on the court to score.
FM: If he's still only 18 then you have to at least consider him, offensive question marks and all. Outrageous shot-blocking and rebounding numbers in Spain show he can play with men, and by all accounts he's a smart kid with great intangibles as well.
AB: Sufficiently intriguing, despite seemingly not having an offensive clue. The team is not in position to overlook a potential (perhaps one-way) star simply because they are already very good defensively and could use a wing scorer.
Jan Vesely - SF, International
SVH: His current value is rooted more in physical traits (athleticism, youth, height, etc.) than it is in any actual basketball skills, and I think the novelty of Vesely’s approach overseas has earned him more attention than he actually merits.
DS: I've heard a lot of great stuff about him in the past 24 hours, but I don't think he would fit well in Milwaukee and I'd rather play Mbah a Moute at SF more anyway.
FM: A weird player because he's both lacking in key skill areas you need to be a star (shooting, handling, rebounding) but has also shown he can be a productive starter in the Euroleague. Despite his energy and athleticism, I think the skill deficiencies preclude him from being a great player in the NBA, but seems very unlikely to be a bust either.
AB: Plenty of possibility for a player possessing a unique combination of size, athleticism, and grace, but lack of obvious strengths on the basketball court here and now also tend to leave one (read: me) wary.
Jordan Hamilton - SF, Texas
SVH: I’m worried Hamilton will only have value as a shooter in spot-up situations and off screens, and while he might be an upgrade in that department, he is likely a downgrade on defense.
DS: He probably won't be as efficient on offense as Burks, and he doesn't fit into the roster as easily either.
FM: Definitely has sleeper potential, and should be able to stick in the league for a long time given his frame and shooting ability. But I didn't see a complete offensive player when I watched him at Texas, which puts him behind Burks and probably Thompson as well.
AB: Does not overwhelm, but improved as a sophomore and already seems to possess a nice offensive game to grow. Maybe, if the team trades down.
Marcus Morris - PF, Kansas
SVH: An undersized guy with PF skills who measures out under 6'9" and has a short wingspan? Carl Landry was a steal in the second round (31st overall), but a guy with similar skills and size issues at #10?
DS: If he's a 3, he is taking time away from an excellent defender. If he's a 4, he's part of a logjam. Still, he was a great post player in college.
FM: I hate PFs who think they're SFs, but Morris might have the most polished post game in the draft. A thoroughly unexciting pick who might help right away, but probably never comes close to stardom.
AB: Shined, and polished, at a major program. Does not seem like the right fit for the Bucks, but also seems like a real, ready basketball player, as opposed to a prospect.
Markieff Morris - PF, Kansas
SVH: He was blessed with the size his brother lacks, but his skill level is also clearly inferior, which would make him quite a reach for the Bucks at #10.
DS: He has a definite position, which is a plus, but it's not really a position of need. I'm still confident Larry Sanders can be productive.
FM: At least he knows he's a big man.
AB: Rather not.
Tristan Thompson - PF, Texas
SVH: He would probably offer slight upgrades in offensive rebounding and defense for the Bucks with his length, athleticism, and motor, but he is a decidedly underwhelming defensive rebounder and his offensive game isn’t NBA-ready.
DS: He grades out well according to John Hollinger's Draft Ratings; he's probably my favorite PF prospect. He would be a good rotation guy, but he's still not that high on my list. And he can't shoot free-throws.
FM: Was very surprised to see him rate so well in Hollinger's numbers--though he does a lot of nice things with his energy and bounce, he's a year older than his class and has a very low skill level. As a garbageman he will probably be a useful guy no matter who he plays with, but seems destined to be a nice complementary player.
AB: As a hesitant shooter for good reason, he would fit in naturally on the Bucks.
Jonas Valanciunas - C, International
DS: It's tough to accept that Milwaukee's first-round pick, in a lottery we weren't even expecting to be in, wouldn't be able to play for a full year, but Valanciunas has the potential to be very good. He's a good rebounder and an exceptional free-throw shooter. The value of getting him at 10 could be huge.
AB: Not real reason to be in such a hurry or to be so conservative, and so no real reason to pass on Valanciunas.