The NBA Draft lottery took place last night in New York City, with the Minnesota Timberwolves claiming the first overall pick. It's the first time since 2004 that the team with the worst record landed the top selection. The Los Angeles Lakers will pick second, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers.
With the draft order now finalized, mock draft season is officially...even more wide open than it already was. Here are the latest projections for the Milwaukee Bucks in some updated mocks:
ESPN NBA Mock Draft 5.0 - Chad Ford, ESPN
Ford's latest mock has the Bucks selecting Kelly Oubre, a freshman wing from Kansas.
The Bucks are another team that would really love to get their hands on a rim protector. However, at this point in the draft, I'm not sold there is one worth grabbing. Shooting is the other big need, and Oubre could be an intriguing get. The lefty is a potential 3-and-D-type player with a terrific wingspan and an improving 3-point shot. On a team with several major upside players, he'd be a great get. Oubre is a top-10 talent, but he will require a patient team. The Bucks can afford to be patient, especially with Khris Middleton already playing the 2. R.J. Hunter, Bobby Portis and Justin Anderson are also potential fits in Milwaukee.
Even if Oubre is truly a "top-10 talent" as Ford posits, I have some concern about how exceedingly redundant he is with the Bucks' other top players (more on that soon). For what it's worth, Duke point guard Tyus Jones goes one pick later in Ford's draft. I'd personally take Jones over Oubre, but what do I know?
DraftExpress Extended Mock Draft
DX has the Bucks moving away from the wings, dipping into the prospect factory that is the University of Kentucky to grab freshman power forward Trey Lyles.
Milwaukee is very shallow at the power forward spot, where they start Ersan Ilyasova, who is entering the last guaranteed year of his contract. Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both combo forwards, while potential free agent Jared Dudley (player option) sees minutes there as well. Lyles is more of a traditional 4/5 who projects to be able to space the floor, which is an absolute necessity with the non-shooting Michael Carter-Williams as the primary ball-handler.
Lyles fell victim to Kentucky's absurd depth last season, playing limited minutes and often out of position. But he showed off an advanced skillset and solid potential as a versatile big man with a chance at providing offensive production both inside and out. That potential is based more on anecdotal than empirical evidence at this point, though.
2015 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Timberwolves' debate: Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor? - Chris Mannix, SI.com
Mannix also has the Bucks drafting a wing player in R.J. Hunter, a junior swingman from Georgia State.
A postseason appearance accelerated Milwaukee’s youth movement, but there are still holes. The Bucks need a pivot, though drafting a five here would be a stretch. Expect Milwaukee to grab a swingman like Hunter, one of the draft’s best shooters, a nice fit to develop behind Khris Middleton.
Depth at the 2 and 3 is a valid concern for Milwaukee, and Hunter is considered one of the draft's better shooters, a skill regularly identified as Milwaukee's foremost need this offseason. However, after hitting roughly 36% and 40% of his college three-pointer his first two years at Georgia State, he dropped to just 30% in his junior year; the product of increased defensive attention and some questionable shot selection. Still, scouts insist his shot is excellent -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a prospect who hit more 28-foot threes last year -- and he did make major strides as a passer last season.
2015 NBA Mock Drafts - Sam Vecenie - CBSSports.com Basketball
CBS' Sam Vecenie projects the Bucks snapping up Kevon Looney, a long-limbed defender with stretch-4 potential.
This would be something of a homecoming for the Milwaukee native, as Looney starred at Hamilton High just over a year ago before heading out west to Los Angeles. Looney fits the Bucks modus operandi of length, as he has a monster 7-3 wingspan to go with his 6-9 frame. He'd fit well within the Bucks' heavy switching on defense, as coach Steve Alford ran a lot of different defensive schemes this season at UCLA that he had to learn on the fly. Also, his offense has potential as both a creator, where he's an awesome ball-handler, and a spot-up shooter, which he's working hard on improving.
Arena funding plan by next week is goal of Wednesday meeting at Capitol - Milwaukee Business Journal
"Soft" deadlines are bearing down on government and team officials as the funding details for a new downtown arena continue to be hammered out, bit by bit. A meeting today in Madison has hopes of bridging the divide between the many parties involved as public financing options are deliberated.
Legislative leaders have said they want to complete the Joint Committee on Finance budget deliberations by May 29, and the arena-funding package is likely to be included in the budget. Several arena-funding sessions have been held in Madison and Milwaukee over the past month.
Participants in Wednesday’s meeting are striving to make progress on details of a public funding plan that would be acceptable to legislative leaders, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, [Milwaukee County Executive Chris] Abele, the Milwaukee Common Council, the Milwaukee County Board and the Bucks.
Head Coach Jason Kidd earns praise from peers - Bucks.com
The four coaches still alive in the NBA Playoffs--Atlanta's Mike Budenholzer, Cleveland's David Blatt, Houston's Kevin McHale, and Golden State's Steve Kerr--offered high praise for Jason Kidd's first season as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd finished third in this season's NBA Coach of the Year balloting behind Budenholzer and Kerr.