You can expect plenty of movement in mock drafts between now and the June 28th draft--don't worry, Steve is all over it--but that won't stop us from tracking the rumors and getting to know all the prospects better over the course of the next four weeks. With the lottery behind us, the mock drafts also begin to have a little bit of meaning, though beyond Anthony Davis going first overall to the New Orleans Hornets it's still more or less a guessing game at this point.
That's especially true for late lottery teams like the Bucks. With Milwaukee's first prospect workout slated for Sunday--likely second rounders Darius Johnson-Odom and Jared Cunningham are the only known participants for now--we can really only speculate as to how the Bucks are approaching the draft. Basic roster logic would suggest that they'd be happy to grab a center or scoring wing, and with the organization's focus on a return to the playoffs you can bet that an immediate contributor would be strongly preferred. But that's about all we know at this point, and let's not forget that their options at number 12 are also dependent on the eleven teams drafting ahead of them.
Still, that won't stop the mock drafters from mocking--their guess is as good as yours at this point--or all of us from picking our own favorites. It's all part of the fun, though it's also worth remembering that Brandon Jennings only emerged as a possible Bucks' selection in the days leading up to the 2010 draft, while no one saw the Tobias Harris pick coming a year ago. So keep that in mind as you peruse the first batch of post-lottery mock drafts after the jump...
- DraftExpress: Perry Jones III
- ESPN (Chad Ford): Perry Jones III
- CBS Sports (Jeff Goodman): Perry Jones III
- CBS Sports (Matt Moore): Terrence Jones
- SI.com (Sam Amick): Meyers Leonard
- NBA.com (Scott Howard-Cooper): Meyers Leonard
- NBADraft.net: Tyler Zeller
- Hoops World: Tyler Zeller
- SB Nation (Tom Ziller): Tyler Zeller
- RealGM (Christopher Reina): Tyler Zeller
- Gery Woelfel : Jeremy Lamb
- WSSP 1250 (Sparky): Jeremy Lamb
Five names come up among the 12 mocks sampled, which probably seems about right given a) the Bucks' clear roster needs at center and on the wing and b) the emerging group-think consensus on who "should" be drafted in the lottery.
That said, the players being mentioned are a pretty diverse bunch. Baylor forward Perry Jones has all the physical tools and innate talent to be a star (who doesn't like that!), but he never looked the part during two inconsistent seasons at Baylor (Oh...). Meanwhile, Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb burst onto the scene during the Huskies' championship season in 2011 and represents a nice balance between collegiate production and future potential despite an up-and-down sophomore season. And though both move well for their size, North Carolina senior Tyler Zeller brings post polish that could help now, while Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard has more raw physical talent. See, even the two big white guys aren't that similar. Choose your own adventure, people.
While you mull over those names, some more stories worth tracking:
Ford: Scenarios for top-10 picks
Chad Ford has talk of Leonard and Zeller dueling in workouts, while the Blazers (picks #6 and 11) figure to be among the most active teams in trade talks. Dave Deckard has more on the Blazers' win-now ambitions at Blazers Edge. Anyone interested in Monta Ellis?
SBNation.com: 2012 NBA Draft Heavy On Power Forwards, Light On Point Guards
Tom Ziller looks at some of the leading mocks and opines on how the draft may shake out.
Teams needing a power forward specifically or a big man in general are going to have options if they are in the teens or can move into them. Plenty of squads need big bodies -- the middle of the first round could be a great opportunity for a few teams as the supply of big men keeps strong prospects available.
Odds and Ends:
- Some great work and good conversation going on in the FanPosts: FTD, CanadaBucks and BlackPack-fan have all put together their mock drafts. Where's yours?
- Over at The Basketball Jones, the irrepressible Trey Kerby is mocking the draft...you know, literally. Love it.
- DraftExpress has video scouting reports of Perry Jones, Andre Drummond and Quincy Miller. While Miller hasn't gotten much lottery buzz as of yet, he could start moving up draft boards in the coming weeks. The 6'9", 200 pound former blue chip recruit had a solid freshman year at Baylor after tearing his ACL during his senior year of high school, so he'll presumably regain more explosion over time--provided the knee checks out. Team doctors will no doubt be giving it a long look
- Bullets Forever has profiles of a number of lottery picks, including potential Bucks targets Perry Jones and Terrence Jones.
- Gery Woelfel sees the Bucks as likely to end up with a guard, though that's partly premised on his assumption that Andre Drummond and Leonard will be off the board. That's a good guess for Drummond at this point, though only one of the mocks sampled above have Leonard going ahead of the Bucks' pick. Funny how much things can change a in short couple weeks of course--considering his physical talents, Leonard could shoot up draft boards if he shows he has the skill level to match. Conversely, Drummond could slip some if questions about his rawness (29% free throws!) and mental makeup persist.
- Dana O'Neil's profile of Leonard reveals that the Illinois native has some very good reasons for turning pro.