The Bucks held their second draft workout this afternoon at the Cousins Center, with today's focus set around wing players that could be available when the Bucks are up with the 31st, 36th, and 48th picks in the draft.
Meet the Prospects:
Jabari Brown | Guard - Missouri - Junior
Draft Express rank: #48 (Hey, that's the Bucks pick!)
Chris Crawford | Guard - Memphis - Junior
DX rank: none
Drew Crawford | Guard/Forward - Northwestern- Senior
DX rank: none
Joe Harris | Guard - Virginia- Senior
DX rank: #60
Lamar Patterson | Guard/Forward - Pittsburgh - Senior
DX rank: none
C.J. Wilcox | Guard - Washington - Senior
DX rank: #44
(For a little more information on today's prospects, check out the Bucks.com draft page)
All of the Bucks' coaching staff from last season, including Larry Drew, ran today's workout, and from all accounts it was a very spirited workout with a good group of guys (hint: all workouts are described this way). Wilcox and Brown were the two most notable names of the group, and both could fill a need on the Bucks' roster as a backup scorer at the wing position.
Wilcox's scoring comes primarily from his shooting ability, while Brown is more of a mixed bag. Both know they will have to rely heavily on their strengths if they want to stick on a roster.
"I think [shooting] translates right away," Wilcox said. "A lot of teams are looking for shooters. If you have the build and the ability to shoot, you can jump in to a lot of teams and play right away. I think that helps me a lot."
"I think [the Bucks] will get a guy who's a competitor [in me]," said Brown. "Just a guy who's going to lay it out there every day. A guy who will work hard, bring a scoring punch, and just be a guy who's ready to compete."
Director of Scouting Billy McKinney was on hand and afterward provided several interesting bits of information on not only the prospects in for workouts today, but also the bigger names that held workouts out in California over the weekend.
"[Jabari Parker] looked fantastic. He looked very good from a physical standpoint. [Joel] Embiid went through the entire workout. It didn't appear that there were any signs of issues with his back, which of course will still be continued to be investigated in as we go into the draft."
Well, that's 2-for-2 on the top prospects. What about the third guy?
"Wiggins did not work out. He was there, Aaron Gordon was there, a lot of second-round kind of players that were working out, and Marcus Smart was there as well. But Wiggins did not work out in Santa Monica. He was there physically and looked great, but he did not participate in a skill workout."
Wiggins did hold a private workout on Sunday with ESPN's Chad Ford, but the Bucks' staff was already headed back to Milwaukee by that point and no NBA teams were apparently invited anyway. McKinney added that the Bucks hoped to have the top shelf of prospects all come to Milwaukee, but acknowledged that doing so might be difficult and might require them to go to the workout location instead of hosting it.
There are two more workouts expected this week, likely on Thursday and Friday. The full list of prospects haven't been released yet, but reports from ESPN's Jeff Goodman and Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears suggest that Syracuse's C.J. Fair and San Diego State's Xavier Thames will be two players visiting Milwaukee.
ESPN | Ford: Wiggins, Embiid, Parker all still in play for No. 1 pick (insider)
Chad Ford was also out in California over the weekend, watching everyone workout, and came away with some interesting observations..
"And if Wiggins doesn't go No. 1? I don't think he's in the top two on the Milwaukee Bucks' board right now, which means he would fall to the Philadelphia 76ers -- a team that has had Wiggins as its top target all season."
Before you freak out, keep two things in mind. First, Ford tweeted a week ago that the Bucks would have had interest in Wiggins if they would have won the lottery. Also, the Bucks haven't seen Wiggins work out yet and have seemingly done a good job of playing the ''we're in love with everybody'' card so far in this process. I'm not saying Ford is wrong in his assumption, but I'd hazard a guess that it is entirely too early for any one of these top guys to be written off as a possible selection, at least on the surface.
"Parker reminded us all on Friday that he also is still in this mix to be the top pick. In fact, I thought Parker's workout was the most impressive of the three that I saw. Here's why: Parker is the most skilled of the top three players in the draft and he attacked that workout like it was a national championship game. Not only did he go harder than Wiggins or Embiid, he went harder than anyone else I've seen in a workout this year. It reminded me, a little, of the great workout Damian Lillard did in Oakland a few years ago. Aggressiveness and competitiveness show in things like this, and Parker passed those tests with flying colors."
Nevertheless, Parker's perceived lack of upside, along with his questionable defensive abilities, has raised questions in Cleveland and Milwaukee. It's conceivable that he could slide to the Sixers or Orlando Magic on draft night.
So, to recap: Embiid looked healthy and ready to separate himself from the other guys, but Parker might have had the best workout...but Wiggins still has the best upside. Maybe. All of them could be the number one pick, and all of them could slide to Philadelphia or Orlando. Consensus: Nobody really knows what to expect, probably. The "drama" will continue to unfold like this until draft night, so buckle up. We're only 30 days away from the end of all of this.
Blazer's Edge | NBA sets 24-team field for the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League
The NBA released the field for the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League, and the Bucks are once again going to participate.
Per the release, here are the teams that will participate and some of the logistics of the event:
Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, D-League Select, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.
Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 11-15, before being seeded in a tournament running through the Championship Game on July 21. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
This summer, 10 of the 12 teams that own Lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft presented by State Farm will take the court at Samsung NBA Summer League, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, who are slated to make the top three picks in this year's Draft. Each team is expected to choose from an impressive crop of prospects that includes Australia's Dante Exum, Duke's Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins from Kansas, and Kentucky's Julius Randle. Samsung NBA Summer League will feature many of these top prospects in their first taste of NBA action, along with other recent high draft picks, as well as undrafted rookies and free agents hoping to make their mark.
The 2014 summer marks the event's 10th anniversary.