The clock keeps ticking away, even if the second hand seems to slow down the closer we get to June 26. We're in the thick of mock draft season, which means a new one or seven every day. Here's the latest draft predictions from around the web, as well as more Milwaukee Bucks and NBA news.
Sports lllustrated | Chris Mannix mock draft
According to Mannix, Noah Vonleh is a hot name on draft boards right now, with a number of teams in the 4-8 range reportedly "in love with his physical tools and shooting potential." In addition, both of Chicago's first-round picks are thought to be available, as well as any number of selections in the late first round.
As for Milwaukee's pick, Mannix strays from the beaten path a bit by going with Andrew Wiggins instead of Jabari Parker:
Could the Bucks really pass up Wiggins here? Maybe. The Bucks have had long looks at all the top prospects -- including Dante Exum, who worked out for Milwaukee over the weekend -- and seem impressed by each of them. Parker is viewed as the most NBA-ready but most scouts still see Wiggins as having the highest ceiling. Also, Wiggins can play two-guard, a plus for the Bucks, who already have Giannis Antetokounmpo at the three. There is no consensus on this pick. For now, expect them to lean towards Wiggins.
The latest SB Nation mock from Ricky O'Donnell pegs Milwaukee with Jabari Parker, saying the decision is likely to come down to a question of fit and culture. Parker provides just what the Bucks need:
An elite offensive talent is never going to get to Milwaukee any other way but through the draft. Wiggins might have a higher ceiling than Parker, but the jury is still out on if he'll ever be a great offensive player. Parker has done just about all he can to show that he should be 20-points-per-game scorer for the next decade and beyond.
The Bucks' pick in many mock drafts seems to be heavily influenced by two things: One, how do the Bucks value higher potential versus NBA-readiness, and two, what position does Giannis Antetokounmpo really play? The problem is that the first question is incredibly difficult to answer, while the second is likely going to depend a lot on who the Bucks actually pick at #2. You're essentially taking four interwoven considerations into account:
- Draft for immediate help or future potential?
- Which player best fits the chosen focus?
- How will the choice fit into the roster?
- How can/should the roster change to accommodate the choice?
TL;DR: This is all very complicated.
DraftExpress: Jabari Parker vs Andrew Wiggins - Head to Head Matchup Video Analysis
If you're having a hard time deciding between Wiggins and Parker yourself, delving deeper into the pair's on-court battles might be of some interest. Some key takeaways? Wiggins' length can give people fits on defense, and Parker has pretty good instincts on the glass, and enough explosiveness to go up strong immediately after pulling down an offensive board.
Sports Radio 1250 WSSP - Frank Madden joins Chuck and Wickett
In case you missed it, Frank played Bucks insider on WSSP the other day. He tried to convince his hosts that they shouldn't be afraid of Joel Embiid, but I'm not sure they bought it. Everybody remembers Greg Oden.
ESPN.com | SportsNation Chat with NBA Insider Chad Ford
Chad Ford's weekly chat contained a couple of Bucks-related nuggets. Ford reiterated his belief that Parker and Embiid are higher on Milwaukee's draft board than Wiggins, but that the pick was far from decided at this point. He also had some things to say regarding Larry Sanders' current trade value:
There is a lot of interest in Sanders right now. They might be able to use that (or John Henson) to get another pick in the draft. Point guard is an area they'd like more help at and there are several intriguing point guards a little later in the draft. I know the Bucks would love another Lottery pick, but the cost is high right now.
I think it would cost [Utah], at a minimum, Derrick Favors and the No. 5 pick [to move up to #2 in the draft]. And they'd have to take back Larry Sanders. The Sanders contract isn't a bad one if you think this year's issues off the court have been resolved. He's a great shot blocker and rebounder. But that's a pretty high cost to move up.
It's incredibly difficult to know what will happen with Sanders without knowing just how much the Bucks value him. If they really are eager to dump his temper and his contract, his inclusion in a trade package seems almost inevitable. But if the Bucks think his nightmare season was a fluke, they're unlikely to part with him unless they somehow land Joel Embiid or get blown away by another team's offer. My thinking has always been that moving Sanders at his current "value" is a waste, even if shedding a large long-term contract fits the rebuilding plan. My feelings are driven by my optimism that Sanders can regain the form that earned him that contract in the first place, but I simply don't see a tremendous need to get rid of Sanders this soon, especially not with his value so depressed.
Grantland.com | The Mystery of Max Money
The inimitable Zach Lowe takes a closer look at the troubles caused by the NBA's maximum salary system and speculates how its elimination could change the league. The real question: as a Bucks fan, would you be willing to endure another painful lockout to see more changes made if you even thought they would improve competitive balance in the NBA?