The 2012 NBA mock draft season won't start in earnest until the draft order is set by the lottery on May 30, but it's never too early to start speculating, is it? Of course not. Below we've assembled the key dates, lottery odds and latest draft buzz about the Bucks and the draft in general.
Draft Lottery, May 30 (ESPN, 7 pm CT): While the lottery will determine the final order for the top 14 picks, we can already be fairly sure that the Bucks will end up with the 12th overall selection. Milwaukee has just a 2.5% chance of landing one of the top three selections--0.7% for the first overall pick, 0.8% for the second and 1.0% for the third--while there's only a 3.9% chance that either Houston or Phoenix leafrogs into the top three and pushes the Bucks down a spot to 13th (not that the odds of both jumping into the lottery and condemning the Bucks to 14th is virtually nil). That leaves close to a 94% probability that the Bucks end up at number 12.
Chicago Pre-Draft Combine, June 6-10. The top 60 or so North American prospects will be measured, tested, weighed and put through the interview paces by teams.
2012 NBA Draft, June 28 (ESPN, 6 pm CT): The 2012 draft will be held at the Prudential Center in lovely Newark, NJ starting at 6 pm CT. Don't worry, New Jersey, you may have lost your team but at least you get the draft. Aside from their lottery pick, the Bucks will also hold the 42nd overall pick. As a result of the Keyon Dooling trade in December, the Bucks would have sent the pick to Boston had it been outside the top 44.
Hit the jump for latest mocks and links...
- As we've known for quite some time, Kentucky big man Anthony Davis will be the top overall pick on June 28, but everything thereafter is a bit hazy. Davis' Kentucky teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Connecticut big man Andre Drummond, Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson and Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal seem to be in the next tier, and after that all hell breaks loose.
- DraftExpress' latest pre-lottery mock has Connecticut shooting guard Jeremy Lamb going to the Bucks at #12, ahead of point guards Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall and Illinois big man Meyers Leonard. UPDATE: This morning DX updated its mock to show Lamb going 10th to New Orleans and the Bucks selecting UNC center Tyler Zeller.
- Chad Ford's latest mock has the Bucks nabbing Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger over Austin Rivers and Terrence Jones. Ford hasn't updated his mock in over two weeks, but then again nothing has really happened in that period either. You can also check out his position rankings here.
There seem to be plenty of Sullinger skeptics out there, but at number 12 I wouldn't be complaining so long as the nagging injuries that limited him at Ohio State aren't long-term concerns. Bottom line is that every player will be flawed in the late lottery, and I wouldn't want the Bucks' crowded power forward position to dissuade John Hammond and company from taking a four/five who might be better than everyone else the Bucks have down low. Ersan Ilyasova may or may not be back next year and none of the Bucks' current big men bring the kind of low post skill and strength that Sullinger has shown dating back to his days as a high school phenom. Everyone would love for the Bucks to find a legit center to follow in Andrew Bogut's footsteps, but Sullinger could actually work pretty well next to longer, slimmer shot-blockers such as Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders.
- At NBA.com, David Aldridge has extensive positional previews to peruse: PG | SG | SF | PF
- Among other mocks: Hoops Report and Hoops World both have the Bucks tabbing UNC big (but skinny) man John Henson, while SBNation, NBADraft.net and Walter Football project the Bucks will end up with Henson's former UNC teammate Tyler Zeller.
- The Nets held the first big workout of the draft season over the weekend, though the crowd had a distinctly second round feel to it. Among the attendees were Marquette's Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, with DX's Jonathan Givony reporting that DJO impressed while Crowder measured out shorter than hoped (6'3.75" in socks, 6'8.5" wingspan, 242 pounds). Nets Are Scorching has more including a video interview with Crowder.