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Bucks Pick Joe Alexander; Will They Keep Him?

Yesterday it would have been no surprise for Joe Alexander to land in Milwaukee, but the Jefferson trade threw that all in doubt--all of a sudden the Bucks needed a PF and were set at SF. Well, we don't know if the Bucks will actually keep Alexander, but with the draft now twenty picks old he's still property of the Bucks. 

The Bucks could certainly package him in a deal for a veteran or in a deal involving a swap of picks; Portland, Phoenix and Minnesota all have expressed interest.  But given the Bucks didn't show much interest in working out any of the mid-first round prospects, a trade involving a mid-first rounder might be less likely  unless it's Anthony Randolph (#14 to Golden State). Remember the Warriors also have a $9.9 million trade exception--which could be used to absorb some deadweight salary--though I'm not sure how much interest they had in Alexander.

I have come around on Alexander and I'm not that worried about the glut of small forwards on the team. And if the Bucks really are serious about changing their losing culture, a guy like Alexander is a natural fit.  Still, it's interesting to see them pass on a guy like Jerryd Bayless who had been discussed as going as high as four to Seattle. I didn't even follow Bayless enough to have a strong opinion about him, though his shoot-first mentality and lack of size suggest he could be more of a Mo Williams-type, a term that isn't a great selling point in Milwaukee now. In fairness, Bayless projects as a better defender and is more explosive than Mo, but the Bucks might have been wary of him not fitting their PG mold.

If the Bucks do keep Alexander then they must have felt he was the best guy on the board, and that's never a bad strategy.  It might also suggest the Bucks think Alexander's strength, size and athleticism give him a chance to play some power forward.  Remember Skiles was willing to play Andres Nocioni at the 4 spot in Chicago, and Alexander is just as big with better athleticism.  That same argument could be made for the Bucks giving a longer look at Ersan Ilyasova, though the Bucks might be wary of stocking their roster with combo forwards. Personality-wise, Alexander seems like a perfect fit for a Skiles-led team.  Still, the fact that the Bucks aren't saying much about Alexander could be telling. I probably won't feel confident that Alexander is here to say until he shows up for a press conference.

In the second round, the obvious move would be to go for a big man like Richard Hendrix, D.J. White or Joey Dorsey, all three of whom might be around when the Bucks pick 37th. Hendrix and White especially have first-round ability, while Dorsey is the ultimate specialist, having excelled as a rebounder and shot-blocker at Memphis.