And while it will be years before we know exactly what the Bucks got when they drafted Jabari Parker second overall on Thursday night, the immediate reaction was clear, positive and virtually unanimous. Here's a sampler of reactions and grades from around the internet:
I'm happy for the Bucks and I'm happy for Jabari. This is the guy the Bucks wanted at No. 1, and this is the team Jabari wanted to go to. The Bucks needed a franchise type player to build around. Parker's that guy. He wanted a team that would build around him, that would treat him as a focal point of the team. The Bucks will do that. Milwaukee wanted an alpha dog scorer and a leader in the locker room. Parker can do both. The Bucks will make him a stretch power forward and I think, ultimately, that's the position he'll thrive at. I think Dante Exum may have more upside -- but the Bucks had to go for the sure thing and they got him. Inglis is a good athlete, has great length and an NBA body. He's still learning how to play, and the Bucks will give him space to grow. He has a broken foot, but he'll come over and be with the team right away. O'Bryant was one of the few big men in this draft who can really score around the basket. He's not going to be a star, but he's a decent rotation player someday.
For Milwaukee … in six months, the Bucks have gone from one of the most depressing teams (besides Antetokounmpo) and the best candidate to relocate to a team that has as bright a future as anybody in the East. They still need a point guard, but that can be handled down the line. Finding Parker and Antetokounmpo was a much bigger deal.
Milwaukee needed a star to put a face on its rebuild, and Jabari Parker is that star. He’s a versatile scorer with a refined offensive game. He can play either forward position, and his silky style figures to compliment Giannis Antetokounmpo’s raw athleticism. The current plan is to play both together in a modern NBA frontcourt that should be very tough to stop.
Both Parker and the Bucks are exceedingly happy that Cleveland selected Andrew Wiggins first overall. Jabari looks to be a Rookie of the Year favorite, and his modern-as-tomorrow forward pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo in a versatile front court, with Larry Sanders hopefully finding his indoor voice, will serve as much-watch basketball in 2014-15, and hopefully for many years to come. With so many NBA-ready players available in the second round of a wickedly-deep draft, it seemed surprising that the Bucks would go for a project type in the French swingman Inglis, but the Bucks don’t appear to see him as a project, and rather someone that can contribute right away. O’Bryant is a low post scorer that still may find a spot on the Bucks in spite of a frontcourt glut, because he’s surrounded by so many defense-first types to contrast with. Grade: A+
The kid was happy to go to Milwaukee and may be the first person in years happy to go to Milwaukee. And it's a good fit. He gets to be the guy with the Bucks. Parker needed the right circumstances and everything came together for him on draft night.
They got their man. Parker topping the Bucks' wish list is about the only concrete thing everyone knew for the past three months. He's the scorer they so desperately need and the face of the franchise that now has new owners. Inglis was a risk/reward pick that made sense in the second round, even though he's very similar to Parker in build. O'Bryant adds needed toughness and strength at little cost but probably wasn't the best available player at that spot. This ultimately is the draft the Bucks were hoping for, though.
See, don't you feel good now? Other news, notes and reactions from Thursday:
WSSP 1250: Jabari Parker interview
Jabari joined the Pro Hoops Show last night to talk about his game, his goals for next season and why he still works out at his alma mater Simeon High School in Chicago.
WSSP 1250: John Hammond interview
Among other interesting tidbits: Hammond confirmed to Bill Michaels on Friday that 31st pick Damien Inglis will not play in Vegas due to the broken foot that prevented him from working out with teams before the draft. However, he is expected healthy by camp--and no worries, this isn't the same as Joel Embiid's injury.
Also interesting to hear Hammond refer to Parker as a "power forward who can play some small forward" while describing Giannis is a 3 who can play the 4, which makes perfect sense based on everything we know about these guys. Hammond reveals that teams in the 20s were asking for future first rounders in order to part with their picks, which helps explain why we didn't see the Bucks move up to nab another pick in the first round.
I'm not going to lie, the Bucks' inability to move up from the second round was a bit of a letdown last night (and yes, I really wanted Spencer Dinwiddie at 36), though I'd also caution against getting too worked up about what did and didn't happen after the Parker pick. Three guards and 800 forwards isn't necessarily ideal from a roster construction standpoint, but as we noted before the draft, Thursday was all about acquiring talent. They have the whole summer to move Ersan Ilyasova and anyone else who might now be surplus to requirements, so let's focus on the excitement of drafting Jabari, hope the second rounders can pan out, and worry about moving pieces around next week when free agency kicks off, OK?
Also, we should all appreciate this little nugget from Hammond:
"The worst thing for us to do is to try to get in a hurry right now and try to win as many games as we possible can next year. It's not about that. We'd be making a big mistake if we did that."
And the Valley Shook: Johnny O'Bryant III
If you want to know more about 36th overall pick Johnny O'Bryant III, our SBN LSU sister site And the Valley Shook has you covered. A sample from their JOB3 scouting report:
Scouts loved his steady improvement during three seasons in Baton Rouge, when he went from a gangly talent to a relatively polished post star. It proves he can correct his weaknesses, work hard to do so and won't have trouble accepting his role on a team. Remember, JOB was at best the third scoring option as a freshman. He can play without the ball, a necessary reality for him in the pros.
His mid-range shot has improved immensely, and he made more than 40-percent of his 10-15 footers in the 2013-14 season. He'll need to ramp that up at the next level, since he won't beat a ton of defenders to the basket off the dribble. If O'Bryant can consistently prove a pick-and-roll threat - he's already a solid screener - then he'll be plenty valuable to a team out there.
Twitter and Instagram Roundup:
Jabari is a Chicago guy, so it only makes sense that he's also a Jordan brand guy, right?
Second rounder Damien Inglis took to Instagram and Twitter to reveal his excitement about going #31:
I woke up like this... What a feeling!! I'll come back in a while people. Let me dream a little bit… http://t.co/jj48VtkVgL
— King Damiéé (@DamienINGLIS) June 27, 2014
Something bigger comes toward me! I gotta catch it, dreams came true.. Couldn't be happier to get picked by the team I wanted @Bucks
— King Damiéé (@DamienINGLIS) June 27, 2014
Hammond says the Bucks have some cap room and there may be some FA opportunities, but they may start the season with the backcourt as is.
— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 27, 2014
At #31, Milwaukee selects Damien Inglis. Nice pick for the Bucks. Amazing body. Great defender. High basketball IQ. Very young. Major upside
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 27, 2014
Inglis is a sleeper. Athletic. Huge wingspan. NBA body. Bucks will bring him over right away.
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 27, 2014
Big congrats to the Antetokounmpo family, which now features two NBA draftees:
Excited to play summer league with the @Bucks !!
— Ben Brust (@BenBrust) June 27, 2014
Kenny Kadji will play for the Milwaukee Bucks' summer league team.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 27, 2014