NBA DRAFT BABY!
I usually get excited about these things. Sometimes I make a list of the picks leading up to the Bucks'. Man-oh-man, this year is extra saucy. We haven't been this high in the lottery since Andrew Bogut, and everyone and their mama knows this year will work out better than that one, right? Right?
Of course it will. We can't trade for former All-Star Jamaal Magloire. There's a lot of talk about the draft being blown up because of some guy's foot, but the Bucks have no reason to trade back. We will be making trades, that much is certain, but we won't be trading back.
We have as assets:
(a) the highest pick we've had in a decade
(b) young pieces with upside [upside rank: Giannis>Henson>Knight>Middleton>Wolters>Miroslav Raduljica]
(c) veterans with no place on a rebuilding team [veteran rank: Ersan>Zaza>Carlos Delfino>OJ Mayo]
(d)A metric crapton of second round picks, now and forever
Mulling things over, you can get a feel for how the new owners might see the team. They have no sentimentality for this roster, but they will want to keep any young players that showed promise last year. They are "untouchable", though Wolters, Raduljica, Middleton or even Henson or Knight could be involved in a trade to move into the first round. Those options won't be on the table until less attractive pieces are shopped. Ersan still holds value and could get a middle first rounder from a team out West. If Wiggins goes first, I believe that Ersan leaving with a second rounder to a team like the Suns or Hawks (yes, them.) for 14 or 15 could be very likely.
After that's dealt with, the wheeling and dealing might not be over, but our moves are limited. Second rounders only have so much swing to them and not all of our pieces will fetch an appealing return. Sanders, in particular, seems to invite other teams to lowball the Bucks. Unless a three or four team trade is involved, I don't see Sanders going anywhere, except maybe imaginary rehab.
Knight, Henson, and Zaza could all fetch diminishing returns on the open market, Zaza in particular would only be our bad contracts for theirs. If things are really being blown up, Knight is extremely vulnerable, but I see him moving during the summer free agency frenzy.
Get On With It, What About the Draft?!?
Alright, alright, I have a few zany ideas about this draft, though I'm sure you'll have seen crazier by now. The top two shouldn't be hard now, so I'll make it quick:No. 1. Andrew Wiggins No. 2. Jabari Parker
In the end, I think that destiny holds true and Wiggins claims his rightful place as the Nike Heir to Yadda Yadda, but here's the twist; I don't think he goes to Cleveland. My bold prediction is that Philadelphia pulls it off and trades Cleveland 3 and 10 for 1. There will be other complications I don't even want to consider, but Philly really, really wants Wiggins and their fanbase will not be satisfied with anyone outside the top 2. They will overspend to get to #1. Milwaukee will get their man, Jabari Parker, and history will see what happens, but Philadelphia is getting Wiggy and all that.
That leaves Cleveland, the only team that actually saw Embiid work out, to take the man they almost took at one. Embiid, the 10th pick, and Thaddeus Young would hardly be a consolation prize. All this talk about Cleveland needing a homerun seems like nonsense. If any team needs to just focus on developing their youth for a few years,and building a core that attracts stars (hmmmm), it's Cleveland. I think this offseason will be the time that Cleveland turns in that direction. Varejao will be available for trades through to the deadline.
As for the rest of the Bucks draft, I do believe we are going to move into the first round through some combination of Ersan Ilyasova and the 31 or 36. If Gary Harris or Elfrid Payton are on the board at 14, that really could happen. If we stay at 31, Mitch McGary seems liked by the F.O. If we don't take Parker, Cleanthony Early is another possibility in the early second. Fans would love Bogdan, but he'll be gone if he makes it to the Spurs. 48, I don't know, at 48 the Bucks will select Spencer Dinwiddie.
And that's that. I honestly have no idea how things are going to go down, but these are my educated guesses. The next few days are going to be a rollercoaster. Where do you think the ride will take us?