True to the mantra of General Manager John Hammond, who has always said to "draft for talent, trade for need," Brew Hoop readers have left largely unaddressed the Bucks' two big positional shortcomings: point guard and center. The highest-ranked true PG on our 2016 Draft Board is Kris Dunn at #7, and now at #9 we get our first true center: Jakob Pöltl - C, Utah.
Set to become the first Austrian-born player to break into the NBA, Pöltl's ascent to potential top-10 pick is thanks to a sophomore season that saw marked improvement in almost every facet of his game. Pöltl certainly would have been a first-round pick last year had he come out, but his choice to return looks to have paid off.
The somewhat unusual center prospect who derives most of his value from the offensive end of the floor, Pöltl was a remarkably efficient scorer at Utah, averaging 1.15 points per possession with a pretty substantial usage rate. He's a skilled post player who does most of his damage one-on-one near the basket, but he's unlikely to provide much floor spacing whatsoever. Pöltl's also a capable passer from the block and doesn't turn the ball over much.
Defensively, Pöltl gets a lot of credit for anchoring one of the best defensive teams in college basketball last season, and deservedly so. His upside as a defender is somewhat capped by his relative lack of length and athleticism, but his mobility bodes well for his fit into an aggressive, shifting defensive scheme. He's also a solid if unspectacular rebounder.
The general sense, as you've probably picked up on, is that Pöltl is just an all-around solid player with a trajectory that still points upward. Exactly how high that trajectory will take him is probably the biggest question: with traditional big men seeing less and less emphasis in the modern NBA, anything less that a superstar threatens to get lost in the muck. But big guys who can score inside and defend the rim will surely always have a place, and Pöltl looks like one of the safer bets in this draft to do so.
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2016 Brew Hoop Community Draft Board
1. Ben Simmons - F, LSU - DraftExpress Profile
2. Brandon Ingram - SF, Duke - DraftExpress Profile
3. Jamal Murray - G, Kentucky - DraftExpress Profile
4. Dragan Bender - PF, International - DraftExpress Profile
5. Buddy Hield - SG, Oklahoma - DraftExpress Profile
6. Jaylen Brown - SF, California - DraftExpress Profile
7. Kris Dunn - PG, Providence - DraftExpress Profile
8. Marquese Chriss - PF, Washington - DraftExpress Profile
9. Jakob Pöltl - C, Utah - DraftExpress Profile