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Milwaukee Bucks select Tobias Harris with 19th overall selection

Hours after trading down nine spots to #19, the Bucks surprised many by selecting 18-year-old Tennessee freshman forward Tobias Harris, passing on Marshon Brooks and Jordan Hamilton among others. Measuring a shade under 6'8" in shoes and weighing 223 pounds, Harris was the #6 recruit in the high school class of 2010 and played both forward positions for Bruce Pearl as a freshman, scoring in double figures in 31 of 34 games. He was ranked #9 in Jonathan Givony's Top 100 prospects and #14 by Chad Ford, and worked out for the Bucks on June 21 in the same workout that featured Brooks and Chris Singleton.

However, the pick will likely disappoint many who were hoping for either an athletic scorer or proven shooter, and despite his youth no one seems to think Harris has the kind of star potential the Bucks so desperately need. Instead, Harris has the kind of versatile, smart game that you would normally associate with a college senior. So while he may be boring, he's very unlikely to fail as an NBA player. Consider DX's scouting report:

When projecting Harris to the next level, his jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none skill-set allows scouts to pencil him into a number of different roles offensively, many of which blur the lines between the small forward and power forward positions. Harris's lack of elite athleticism and size raises some questions about his defensive potential and one-on-one scoring ability at the next level, but he's extremely crafty, plays within himself, and has a maturity about him that is uncommon in a player who won't turn 19 until July.

Hit the jump for more on Harris.

Harris projects as a small forward or undersized four in the NBA, which has earned him the dreaded tweener label from some, though he has also slimmed down since the season ended and surprised many with a 37.5" vertical at the pre-draft camp in Chicago. He's maintained that he'll be a three in the NBA, and his work to slim down while trying to add explosion is likely evidence of that--he claims he's gone from 14% to 8% body fat since the season ended.

You didn't see that kind of athleticism from Harris at Tennessee, though it's also easy to underestimate the value of his excellent feel for the game. Like the rest of the Bucks, he'll need to improve his long distance shooting (30% as a freshman), though as the youngest college player in the draft he also has plenty of room to mature. Moreover, Harris has a reputation as a tireless worker and with an excellent IQ, which explains why some have compared him to a more offensively-oriented Shane Battier. That should serve him well as he battles for minutes in a muddled forward rotation.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Tobias Harris 34 29.2 5.4 11.8 46.0 0.7 2.2 30.3 3.8 5.0 75.3 2.0 5.3 7.3 1.3 1.8 0.7 0.9 2.1 14.2