I actually started writing this a few days ago, when the Bucks were 2 GB the Knicks and 76ers with 8 games to go, and a head-to-head matchup with the Knicks looming. Since then, the Bucks have fallen 2.5 GB both teams with only 6 games remaining. Not that the Bucks are out of it...but the chances are dwindling away.
Anyways, as pro-tank as I was about a month ago, I'm all in on getting that 8th seed now. Seriously, that would bring so much joy to a Bucks fan like I. Meanwhile the Heat are championship or nothing, it's 8th seed or better draft pick for us Bucks fans. But I want that 8th seed.
The difference between grabbing the 8th seed or missing and finishing 9th in the East is likely the difference between the 15th pick in the draft and the 12th pick (assuming the lottery does it's due diligence). With a bit of luck, that 9th seed could turn into a 9th or 10th pick, but I'm not betting on that.
I don't really believe that there's much difference in the 12th and 15th picks...and in the recent years the Bucks have actually done better the later they've picked. Their highest selections in the past 5 years have bloomed into the worst draft picks of the 5 years. Yi Jialian (did we seriously draft someone named "Yi" (-ee)!) and Joe Alexander, whom were taken #6 and #8. Meanwhile, Mbah a Moute and Sessions have been 2nd round gems, and Tobias Harris looks like a great pick at #19. Sanders has stuck around longer than Yi, and Jennings is the best of the bunch at #10 (so he splits the theory a little bit). But to be fair, the Bucks quit on Yi a bit early. I mean, one season? And 8 ppg and 5 rpg isn't THAT bad for a rookie.
And in a deep draft with quality prospects into the early 20s, the mid-teens will be a crapshoot. The studs are all gone, so by then it's pretty much who you like the best out of Dion Waiters, Terrence Ross and Doron Lamb. And one of them will likely be better than atleast 3 or 4 players to come out of the Top 10.
So, to restate, I'm all in on the 8th seed...get it, get swept in the 1st round, get a good player with the 15th overall pick, everyone's happy (at least I would be).
Ok so assuming my dream comes true of getting the 8th seed and winning at least one game in the first round (I can hear the Heat, Mavs, Celtics, etc fans LOLing), the Bucks will have the 15th Overall picks along with a little bit of integrity to work with. Who gets picked at #15 depends a lot of who's available, as well as what the plans are for Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
I expect Monta Ellis to get traded...it's a fun duo to watch, but it's not going to win a lot of games in the future...likely to the Magic. The Magic's GM a.k.a Dwight Howard will be desperate out of their minds to get a dynamic scoring guard to put with Howard, a.k.a the Magic GM. Also the Nets and T'Wolves could be ringing Hammond's cell phone, or maybe his home phone (I really am not sure).
Brandon Jennings likely will be matched next off season and retained, but he will not be untouchable this off season and many will try to touch him (sounds wrong, sorry).
Bringing us to the draft. Dion Waiters is the guy I'm vouching for, whether or not Ellis or Jennings are moved. He's got good size at 6'4" and experience playing both guard positions. He's a shooter, slasher, and distributor mixed into one. What he isn't is an "elite athlete", but those are few and far between after the Top 6-10 picks. To me he's just a middle-class man's Bradley Beal, who likely will go in the Top 8.
If I were making the decisions, like doing what Dwight Howard is doing with the Magic, I'd draft Waiters.
I've had change of heart with Terrence Jones. I once saw an epic tweener who would likely get moved to SF but lacked the quickness and ball handling to make the transition. Now, I see a 6'9" 252-lb Power Forward with a lot of heart, who could be a match up problem with his shooting range and speed to the basket. I'd take the guy at #15, but I'm scared that if the Bucks actually do take him Skiles will move him to Small Forward where he won't succeed.
Could the big man from Carolina be a possibility? If your thinking of John Henson, then Heeel no (I said Heeeel because it's like Tar Heel). Not another Larry Sanders-esque/Ekpe Udoh-esque player to do exactly what they do except probably in a less intelligent manner. I'm talking about Tyler Zeller. A 6'11" 240-lb PF/C who runs the floor like a Gazelle (obviously a white Gazelle) and has touch around the rim. I'd draft that at #15, but it may not still be available.
I know very little about anxiety disorders, but Royce White has one, as well as some mad skills. Sure he can't shoot, but he's 6'8" and 260+ lbs of mostly rock solid muscle, and yet plays Point Guard for the Cyclones. The dude is very fast and athletic for his size, too. If there was no anxiety disorder to worry about, and he could at least shoot Free Throws better (around 50%), I imagine he'd be a Top 10 pick. Instead he'll probably be available at #15. I would like to know more about this anxiety disorder and exactly how big of an impact it'd be at the NBA level, but I'm a bit lazy and I'm not going to pause in writing this FanPost to look it up.
Another Terrence...Terrence Ross. He's interesting, a 6'6" 195-lb wing with seemingly a full package skillset, but lacking the elite attributes as well as consistency. He tore up the Pac-12 tournament and NIT, but the throughout the regular season he had too many bad games and didn't dominate the weak conference like he should've. Still, an interesting prospect.
Kendall Marshall, anyone? I like this guy because he has SG size (6'4") but he's as true of a PG as they come. Meanwhile, the Bucks have two SGs whom are PG size (Sorry I just called Jennings a SG). This seems like a good fit for offense and defense, as long as Marshall doesn't struggle to much to guard the bigger wings like Demar DeRozan. I could see this guy averaging 15 assists per game on a run-and-gun team with plenty of people to pass to.
Kendall Marshall approves of the Milwaukee Bucks drafting him.
Other guys on the radar:
Moe Harkless, SF, St Johns. Probably not the right fit, he's a lot like Luc, and Tobias looks like the future at SF. Athletic, but stringy and can't shoot. Really don't want this guy.
Quincy Miller SF Baylor. Pretty much the same thing with Harkless.
Perry Jones III, PF Baylor. This guy could drop due to concerns about not trying hard and stuff like that, but he's 6'11" with the speed and feet of a 6'6" SG (slight exaggeration) and a nice offensive game. Kind of like Quinton Coples to the NFL Draft (if your following it).
Austin Rivers, G, Duke. I don't like him but he's wouldn't be that bad at #15. He's kinda like Monta Ellis except an inch taller, but he won't be as good as Monta.
Jared Sullinger, C Ohio State. I don't like undersized Centers, unless they are athletic and play above the rim. Sadly, Sully is 6'9" and is only a slightly above average athlete. On the plus side, he's smart and skilled with a will to win.
Jeremy Lamb SG Connecticut. OMG I would cry tears of joy if this happened. He's the 3rd best player in the draft. Dead serious.
Jordan Taylor PG Wisconsin. He might not fall this far, but I can dream, right?
Arnett Moultrie PF Miss State. Tall, long, athletic, but doesn't block shots and he's pretty stringy. And his name rhymes with Poultry. BTW the Jordan Taylor thing was a joke if you didn't catch it.
Meyers Leonard C Illinois. A 7-footer with pretty good athleticism, and he's not uncoordinated, which is rare. I'd take a look at him.
Doron Lamb G Kentucky. Versatility is a plus, he can play both guard positions, he's like Waiters but ever-so-slightly not as good.
Fab Melo C Syracuse. He's 7' 255 and hasn't had any knee problems yet. Not an offensive guru, but neither is Kwame Brown, and if anyone wants to share a funny Kwame Brown joke in the comments section, feel free.
Tony Wroten G Washington. He's 6'4" and athletic at Point Guard, but he's out of control and can't shoot. His great moments will remind you of Dwyane Wade 5-years ago, but his bad moments will remind you of Corey Maggette without actually drawing the fouls.
Damian Lillard PG Weber St. Honestly haven't seen him play, he plays at Weber St, but I've heard good things.
So, yeah that's all I've got. I know, your all thinking about how great my insight is and your ready to E-mail ESPN.com to hire me, but really, it's OK you don't have to. Thanks for reading my article, it really is much appreciated. And I'm changing my Sig line after this post. By the way, I found this picture funny. First of all, Salmons' face is priceless. Secondly, I'm wondering how Salmons could react that way, yet Josh Smith facepalms in the background. Maybe Jon Brockman took a mid-range jumper.