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First Ford 2014 mock draft, Bucks hoping to put fans on the court, more on Morway

It's never too early to be thinking about the draft, but don't expect the first mock drafts to look too much like the real thing next summer.


ESPN | Ford: Andrew Wiggins tops 2014 mock draft 1.0
Propelled by the loaded high school class of 2013 and the hype-accelerating monolith known as THE INTERNET, the upcoming 2014 draft figures to be the most-talked-about in history. Maybe not the best, but everyone with an informed opinion about these things seems to think it could rank up there with other standout drafts such as 2003 and 1984. Of course, odds are you already knew all that considering we spent half the summer debating how important all this should be to the Bucks and their near-term ambitions.

It probably shouldn't come as a huge shocker then that Chad Ford is kicking off his annual mock drafting earlier than ever, using ESPN's 13/14 record forecast to project the order of the first round and then making wild guesses as to who would go where. Needless to say, none of this should be taken all that seriously at this point, but it's an interesting exercise and provides some sense of the names to watch out for in the collegiate ranks this fall. The Bucks and their projected 31-51 record would pick 7th in ESPN's system, where Ford has them snagging Kentucky combo guard Andrew Harrison, half of the All-American twin combination (see the nice picture above) that will be making its way to Lexington this fall.

If the Bucks somehow can get their hands on one of those top three point guards, they'll do it. The team acquired Brandon Knight in a trade this summer, but he doesn't have the long-term potential of [Dante] Exum, [Marcus] Smart or Harrison. Harrison has as much talent as Smart and Exum, but slides a bit because of questions about his attitude. If John Calipari can get him to mature -- remember when John Wall had all the same questions surrounding him before he played for Calipari at Kentucky? -- then the Bucks could potentially land the best point guard prospect in the draft.

Harrison ranks 8th in DraftExpress' Top 100 (his brother Aaron is #32) and you can check out his full DX scouting report here. Needless to say, that a guy considered to have all-star potential like Harrison is being projected outside the top five says plenty about the perceived strength of the draft. Whether Harrison lives up to the hype at Kentucky (much less in the pros) is of course a separate question, but the same goes for basically everyone else on the list as well.

For some perspective on just how much rankings can change over the course of the year, I went back and dug up Ford's Top 100 from last September. Needless to say, the idea of projecting the draft at this point is basically a dart-throwing exercise (actual draft position in parentheses, DND = did not declare):

1. Nerlens Noel (6)
2. Cody Zeller (4)
3. Shabazz Muhammad(14)
4. James McAdoo (DND)
5. Tony Mitchell (37)
6. Isaiah Austin (DND)
7. Alex Poythress (DND)
8. Steven Adams (12)
9. Rudy Gobert (27)
10. Otto Porter (3)
11. Adonis Thomas (Undrafted)
12. Anthony Bennett (1)
13. B.J. Young (Undrafted)
14. Kyle Anderson (DND)
15. Ricky Ledo (43)
16. Mason Plumlee (22)
17. Archie Goodwin (29)
18. Myck Kabongo (Undrafted)
19. Dario Saric (DND)
20. Michael Carter-Williams (11)

So of the top 20 in Ford's rankings nine months prior to the 2013 draft, seven guys actually stayed in the top 20, three fell into the later portion of the first round, two went in the second round, three went completely undrafted and five did not declare (which typically isn't a good sign either). You could argue that the strength of this year's top ten makes it less likely that there's the same sort of attrition in the top 20, but it's tough to take too much for granted when you're talking about 18- and 19-year-old kids.

SportsBusiness Daily | For loyal fans, a spot on the floor?
Throwing season ticket holders' names on the court for all to see?  Pretty damn cool in my book.

One source said the Cavaliers are proposing to put the account holders’ names on the sideline aprons while the Bucks are considering putting the names near the half-court line on the playing floor. The locations are subject to change depending on league response to the proposal.

Indy Cornrows | Wondering What's Behind Pacers Replacing David Morway With Kevin Pritchard
New Bucks assistant GM David Morway presided over the key draft and free agent moves that made the Pacers a legit title contender. So why did Larry Bird dump him rather unceremoniously a year ago? Tom Lewis elaborates:

Morway is rumored to be tough to deal with behind closed doors at the Fieldhouse. I've heard a few different folks within different parts of the organization make disparaging comments about Morway. Whatever he was doing, Morway was getting results. But he was also turning off at least some folks in the organization along the way.

Morway is also credited with the falling-out between the organization and Hall of Famer Mel Daniels. In Morway's defense, I recall an exercised Daniels in the media room during the 2009 draft, adamantly declaring that Hasheem Thabeet should be the top pick in the draft instead of Blake Griffin. Even if the Pacers had the top pick, Daniels thought Thabeet should be the pick, laughing off the possibility of Roy Hibbert developing into a key player.

FIBA | Ersan Ilyasova and Turkey out of Eurobasket
After losing their first three in disappointing fashion, Turkey finally got its first win at Europe's top tournament over the weekend with an 87-74 win over Sweden...but only after they had already been mathematically eliminated from the 2013 EuroBasket.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 in Sunday's win over Sweden and added another 13 in Monday's meaningless group stage finale against Russia, which condemned Turkey to a 1-4 finish thanks to one-time Bucks draft target Sergey Karasev's 25 points. Ilyasova finished the tournament with so-so averages of 12.2 ppg and 5.0 rpg but struggled from three (4/17) and the free throw line (5/11). More importantly: he didn't get hurt.

Turkey's early exit ends hopes of automatic qualification for next summer's World Cup in Spain (ie the tourney formerly known as the World Championships), another bitter blow for a country that was flying high after hosting and making it to the finals of the 2010 World Championships but subsequently failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.

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