We'll have a reaction thread up as soon as the Bucks make their first pick, but in the meantime I just wanted to post all the latest Bucks draft talk as we prepare for things to get started on ESPN at 6:30 CT. I'll also be posting updates here leading up to #15. Here we go!
DraftExpress: Sanders, Warren, Prestes, Samuels
Jonathan Givony's latest mock has the Bucks going big with the man they didn't give a first round promise. Sanders' physical profile--terrific length, huge hands, solid athleticism--makes him a great fit for the Bucks' 4/5 rotation, and at 21 he does seem to have a fair bit of upside given his late arrival to the game. That said, it's still anybody's guess if he develops the skills to be more than a nice guy with a big body. I wouldn't mind the pick, but I'd probably prefer Xavier Henry and Patrick Patterson if they were available.
John Hammond has already said the Bucks are unlikely to keep all four picks, but in the second round DX has the Bucks going with OU combo guard Willie Warren (37), Brazilian big man Paulao Prestes (44), and Louisville PF Samardo Samuels (47). Warren and Samuels both had workouts with the Bucks, while Prestes currently plays in Spain and is considered a potential sleeper. I think Givony had Prestes at 44 even before the Bucks traded for it, so I'm not sure if there's any real connection with the Bucks, but it might be a convenient pick if the Bucks want to keep a guy stashed in Europe for a year or two.
Ford: Sanders, Stephenson, Booker, Jordan
Chad Ford had been projecting Xavier Henry to fall to the Bucks for a few weeks, including the new mock he had this morning. That'd be perfectly fine with me--despite being just 19, Henry's got the shooting touch, NBA body, and defensive abilities to be a useful rotation piece immediately. But in the last hour his mock has moved a bit, with Henry going #13 to Toronto. That leaves Sanders, who Ford projects the Bucks would select despite Luke Babbitt, James Anderson, and Avery Bradley being on the board:
The Bucks have been eyeing Patterson, Henry and Hayward, but in this version, none of those players are on the board. So the Bucks go with a different need and get a long, athletic forward to help them with shot-blocking and rebounding. Sanders isn't the most polished player, but at 15, he's a good gamble.
Ford's other projections look pretty good to me. Assuming Lance Stephenson's background check passes muster, he's a boom-or-bust type...in other words, the kind of guy you love to grab with one of your second round picks. Booker is a tough but slightly undersized 4 who worked out for the Bucks early in the draft process, and his scouting reports reads like the exact type of guy Skiles would love. The same can't be said of Jordan, who has tons of size and talent but a questionable motor. But one of each makes for a diverse portfolio, doesn't it?
JS: Mock Roundup
I'm guessing most of these mocks aren't based on any type of inside information, but if you're into mocks for the sake of mocks...lots of Henry.
Woelfel: "Avery Bradley is now in the middle of the Bucks' radar"
Gery Woelfel is fresh off scooping everyone on the Maggette deal, so we should probably be paying attention. I'm not a huge fan of Bradley's, mainly because he's smallish and most agree that he'll never be a PG. But he seems to be the consensus best perimeter defender in the draft and was considered by many to be the best high schooler in the nation in 2009, so the Bucks could at least be lining up a long-term backup and occasional running mate to Brandon Jennings in the backcourt. For what it's worth, Woelfel also reported a month ago that Bradley was not interested in working out for the Bucks.