Most of our focus and speculation about tomorrow's draft has been on the Bucks' first round pick, and rightfully so. The Alexander/Randolph discussion is only getting juicier.
But we'd be remiss to not mention the team's second round (37th overall) draft choice. After all, we're talking about a team with unofficially the best second round backcourt in the NBA.
Michael Redd was drafted 43rd back in 2000. Mo Williams went 47th three years later in 2003. Last June, the Bucks nabbed Ramon Sessions 56th, the fifth to last player selected. Throw in the fact that Charlie Bell went undrafted and Royal Ivey was another second rounder in 2004, and we've got quite a guard anomaly running around Milwaukee.
With that in mind, the 37th pick shouldn't be afterthought, not after the diamonds (or at least quartzes) already found in previous draft's rough.
And while the Bucks are having problems scheduling workouts for top picks, the team has gotten good looks at many potential second rounders.
Yesterday, a group including Richard Hendrix, Jamont Gordon, and Wisconsin senior Brian Butch took part in workouts for the Bucks.
Brett at The Bratwurst has steadfastly endorsed Hendrix, dubbing the Alabama forward the draft's supersleeper, making a pretty compelling case to back up his claim.
I just can't understand why he is flying under the radar so much: he put up great numbers, has a track record of improvement (so it's not like he had a fluke season), carried a weakened team on his back in a tough conference to a .500 record, and apparently doesn't have any character questions. If you are an NBA GM who wants a power forward who can grab loose balls, bang around in the paint, and shoot well enough to keep defenses honest, why would you look any further?
Among the others who have worked out at the Cousins Center in front of the Bucks are Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Malik Hairston, Mike Green, and Damjan Rudez.
I had a chance to briefly chat with Green after his workout a couple weeks ago. Green knew the city from his four years playing in the Horizon League for Butler against the likes of UW-Milwaukee. He also knew some draft history, rattling off some second round success stories such as Manu Ginobili.
With last year's second rounder, Sessions, exceeding expectations, the Bucks aren't likely to look for a one in the second round, but Mo Williams trade rumors make a play for a point guard possible. Then again, Green isn't projected to be drafted by at all according to Draft Express, ESPN, or NBADraft.net.
Here's who those three websites have going 37th to the Bucks in their latest mocks:
Draft Express: Nathan Jawai
ESPN: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
NBADraft.net: Gary Forbes
Jawai would give the Bucks an Australian big man tag-team. Mbah a Moute is an athletic defensive-minded forward, and has been an important player on one of the most successful teams in college basketball the past few seasons at UCLA. If that sounds familiar it's probably because of the similarities to the Bucks' 2006 draft pick, David Noel, who is no longer with the team. Forbes worked out for the Bucks on Monday, and despite worrying low shooting percentages (40.7 field goal %, 29.2 % on three's) he's helped himself a lot since in pre-draft workouts according to Draft Express.
No player has done more for their stock in the pre-draft camps than Gary Forbes. The physically imposing swingman rode on the momentum he picked up from the Portsmouth Invitational to an MVP performance at this year’s Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. While he stood out amongst his peers at both venues, he was one of the few players here that showed an ability to carry his team when it mattered. That won’t be a skill that necessarily will need to translate to the NBA for him, but there is something to be said for stepping up and being a leader in a setting like this one where everyone is trying to earn a job.
It's difficult enough to figure out the lottery prospects, so determining which second round picks is perhaps an even more trying task. Nonetheless, here are ten players we are intrigued by, and that the Bucks might consider with their second round choice:
Malik Hairston: DX: 45 ESPN: 51 NBDN: -
Hairston was a really highly regarded prospect as a freshman at Oregon, and used his four years to steadily improve, especially as a shooter, hitting .525/.433/.732 as a senior after going .509/.333/.472 in his first year on campus. He can score without needing the ball constantly, is strong, and takes care of the ball pretty well. He fell in between Russell Westbrook and Anthony Randolph in John Hollinger's PER projections of wings.
D.J. White: DX: 34 ESPN: 36 NBDN: 44
White has an extremely nice touch on his mid-range jumper, particularly for a big-bodied 6'9" post player. He's has an up-and-down career at Indiana but finished strongly, going for 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 60.5 % from the field as a senior. He's on the short side for a power forward and doesn't blow you away athletically.
Richard Hendrix: DX: - ESPN: 38 NBDN: 50
Hendrix is relentless on the glass and, like White, offers an efficient offensive game, shooting 59.8 % and then 60.2 % from the field in his final two seasons at Alabama. Also like White, he's considered undersized at 6'8". Hendrix also got worse from the line throughout his college career, culminating in a 53.7 % mark as a junior from the stripe. Still, his sixth rated PER in the nation is a testament to his well-rounded overall game.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: DX: ESPN: 37 NBDN: 46
David Noel comparisons aside, the Bucks badly need some semblance of a defensive identity, and Mbah a Moute could help, if ever so slightly, bring one.
Joey Dorsey: DX: 42 ESPN: 45 NBDN: 43
Dorsey is a physically imposing forward who excels at rebounding the basketball and on the defensive end in general. To make a name for himself in the NBA, he'll need to straight-up dominate in those areas, because he's destined to struggle to make an impact offensively on the next level. He shot 64.7 % from the field as a senior, but made only 2.8 field goals per game, and hit just 37.8 % of his free throws.
Nathan Jawai: DX: 37 ESPN: 34 NBDN: -
The NBL might be only a letter different, but it's about as far away as Australia is from United States on a map as the basketball league Jawai played in is from the NBA. But this guy looks pretty decent, and umm, big, in video form.
Bill Walker: DX: 29 ESPN: 38 NBDN: 34
There is some evidence to suggest Walker could be available at 37, though it's far from a sure thing. He's suffered two ACL injuries, reducing some of his incredible athleticism. Still he remains a strong, aggressive player, traits he displayed in the tournament against USC and Wisconsin, when he averaged 20.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Kyle Weaver: DX: 39 ESPN: 32 NBDN: -
This Beloit product helped lead Washington St. from irrelevance to prominence in part through the smart play and defensive-oriented approach instilled by the Bennetts.
Gary Forbes: DX: 50 ESPN: - NBDN: 37
Already noted some of Forbes' weaknesses, but he does fill up the boxscore and finds himself on the free throw line quite a lot.
Sonny Weems: DX: 52 ESPN: 52 NBDN: 41
Wicked cool name and some serious, serious hops, while we're on a video kick.
Update: The numbers following the players are where they landed in the site's mock drafts, but the mocks are ever-changing.