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John Hammond meets with media in advance of draft

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Bucks General Manager John Hammond met with the media on Monday for the final time before the NBA Draft gets underway on Thursday. Milwaukee has the 17th and 46th picks in the draft, and being in the middle of each round has the team heading into final preparations with an open mind.

"For us at 17, we are who we are," Hammond said. "We're always going to look to keep our options open seeing if there's somewhere we can improve our team with that 17th pick, improve our team by maybe moving up in the draft, moving down in the draft, whatever it might be, but we'll always keep our options open."

Though the options are technically limitless, Hammond noted that moving in the draft--especially up near the top 10--is very difficult. It's not an impossible task, but it is a tough range to crack given that the players going in that range are generally ones that teams expect to be a contributing starter or star talent, thus making the package required to move up the board that much harder to come up with.

Assuming that the Bucks stay put at 17 and 46, their chances of hitting a home run with their picks are obviously less likely. But that doesn't mean they're uncomfortable with where they're at, either.

"For us at 17 we're still looking at best player on the board. I don't think we're going to talk about need as much as best player."

"We're probably looking at, at 17, a grouping of maybe four players, five max, guys who we've kind of zeroed in on thinking that one of those guys could be there at 17 and we're excited about that player."

"We'll look at 46 and see if there's an opportunity. Maybe there's an international player that we can draft that might have an interest in staying overseas for a couple years. Maybe we move the pick--all kinds of opportunities we'll be looking to explore with 46.

Milwaukee has worked out a wide variety of prospects during their draft workout season, some of which could fall under the best player on the board and a guy who can help fill a need. Hammond told reporters that he felt the Bucks areas of need were shooting, size, and overall physicality.

Should the Bucks not address some of those needs through the draft, they will look elsewhere during the summer. One of those avenues may be free agency, where the Bucks figure to have at least a better chance of landing a target high on their list this time around. It still won't be easy for them, though.

"We as a team, we're trying to improve. We're going to try and improve through free agency this summer potentially, possibly. We're going to try and improve maybe through a trade--maybe something could be there for us. The draft is still very important to us because of the type of team we have. We're talking about still building here, we're trying to build towards a championship contending team that you want your draft picks to be a part of."

"Free agency is tough. We do have significant cap room, but it's a two way street. No matter how [much] we like the guy, the guy's got to like us back. He's go to want to be here."

Changes to the roster start on Thursday and will kick back into a gear a few weeks later when free agency gets going in early July. Once again, it looks like the Bucks may be players this summer. Buckle up.