Thursday: Luke Babbitt
Fresh off a good showing in Chicago, Nevada forward Luke Babbitt seems to be the hottest name in the draft. So it might not matter whether you think he's a more athletic Chris Mullin or a tweener destined to disappoint--there's a good chance he'll be gone by the time the Bucks pick. Chad Ford, DraftExpress and NBADraft.net all project him to go 12th to the Grizzlies at the moment (Edit: DX just revised their mock and now has Paul George moving up to 12 and Babbitt slipping all the way to #20). Bucks.com has a number of quotes from Billy McKinney which are worth checking out, but I thought the ones below were particularly interesting in terms of what the Bucks like in him and how they see him fitting in positionally. Like many guys his size ( ), Babbitt was a college 4 who will need to adjust to playing the wing more in the pros--never a sure thing.
Wednesday: Gallon, Lawal, and Scheyer
On Babbitt’s shooting range…
"He’s a good long-range shooter and that will become better as he becomes a pro player and his mid-range game is very good. If you look at the NBA games now, and this is just kind of my opinion, you see the long-range, the three-point shots, so many teams and players focus on the three-point, it’s kind of sometimes feast or famine. You’ve got a three-point game or you go all the way to the basket, and the mid-range game is the game that suffers a little bit. Luke Babbitt has that nice mid-range, 15 to 17 (foot) pull-up jump shot that’s effective. In addition to that, he also has the ability to play with his back to the basket and post up. When I first saw him play, the player that he reminded me of, because he’s left handed, was a miniature version of David Lee of the New York Knicks."
On if Babbitt can play the four…
"Absolutely. You look at the NBA, again, it is about mismatches and size. You see so many times, you are watching a team play and there’s not that many true centers, there’s not that many true forwards, you see so many players that are playing hybrid positions, whether they’re considered a four/three or a three/four, Luke Babbit falls into that category."
Wednesday saw a group of mostly second round candidates in town, but with two picks that's still pretty important for the Bucks. The hardest guy to miss was Keith "Tiny" Gallon, the 6'10, 300 pounder former McDonald's All-American who played high school ball with Brandon Jennings at Oak Hill. He was a freshman on the massively disappointing Oklahoma squad last season, and like pretty much everyone (namely Willie Warren and Tommy Mason-Griffin) decided to high-tail it out of Norman as soon as possible. Combining rare shooting touch with his massive size--aside from his weight, he also has a 7'4.5" wingspan--Gallon has drawn comparisons to Big Baby Davis, both good and bad. Fortunately, his length probably makes him better suited to playing center than Big Baby, who has the beef but doesn't have the length or athleticism to check centers consistently. Ford has him Gallon sneaking into the late first round, DX has him undrafted (did they just forget about him?), and NBADraft.net has him 39th.
It seems like he's far too young and talented for someone not to roll the dice on him in the second round at the latest, and we've already had some buzz in the comments section about the Bucks being the team to do it. No arguments here, especially if the Bucks go with a wing in the first round. Paul Imig writes that Gallon is excited about a possible reunion with Jennings, and I'd recommend checking out DX's scouting report as well:
Gallon is a bit of a mixed bag at this stage. He hasn’t quite developed an identity of what kind of player he is. On one hand, he’s a powerful player with a thick frame and terrific rebounding skills. But on the other hand, he plays a lot smaller most of the time -- preferring to drift to the perimeter, handle the ball and settle for outside shots.
More under the radar is Georgia Tech junior PF Gani Lawal, who might have been better off staying in the draft a year ago before Derrick Favors showed up at GT. His minutes were slightly down and pace-adjusted numbers were flat, which might be explained by Favors' arrival but certainly doesn't help his stock. He measured reasonably well in Chicago, checking in at an even 6'9" in shoes, 233 pounds, and with a 7'0" wingspan, but nothing he does really wows you--just a hard-working, tough guy. DX has him 32nd in their latest mock while NBADraft.net has him 30th, so he'd be another guy the Bucks will take a long look at if he's available at 37.
Less likely to be drafted are senior combo guards Jon Scheyer (Duke) and Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), each of whom is currently projected as mid- to late-second rounders. Both guys have good size for the point (though Bouldin is significantly stronger), excellent touch from three, and have shown solid ability to create for others while playing both backcourt positions in college. However, neither is a good athlete and most scouting reports question whether they will ever be able to keep up with NBA point guards.