It’s funny how life, and basketball, tend to repeat itself. On the eve of the 2015 NBA Draft just two short years ago, I was having almost the exact same thoughts I’m having now. The Bucks need shooting. The team has the #17 pick. And I’m not really that familiar with any of the “names” that likely will be on the board for the team to pick. So what did John Hammond decide to do back in 2015? They selected young Rashad Vaughn as a potential backcourt piece for the future.
Well, we all know how that’s worked out so far. I guess the tried and true moral of the story is teams “shouldn’t pick for need, instead pick for talent.” That may have proven true in 2015 but it’s now 2017 and tonight the Milwaukee Bucks will likely be facing the same kind of dilemma. Can any of the players still on the board at pick #17 really help the Bucks?
Ironically, there’s a ton of outstanding guard prospects in this year’s draft. Trouble is, pretty much all of them will be long gone before the Bucks make their selection. So let’s take a look at a few who might still be available when they do pick.
Duke sophomore Luke Kennard: Some scouts say Kennard won’t be there when the Bucks pick rolls around. If he is, he will probably be the best guard prospect remaining. He’s a sharpshooter who tallied 52% from the field last year to go along with 43% shooting from 3. He’s a big leaper (38-inch vertical) and at nearly 6’6” he’s been described as a bigger JJ Redick (not to mention the Duke connection). The downside? Kennard’s got seriously short arms, a weaker upper body and isn’t real quick, either.
Australian pro Terrance Ferguson: A prototypical 3-and-D guy. Coming in at 6’7” and known as a tough defender, Ferguson can really jump and shoot the J over people. Since he decided against attending college (despite signing letters of intent with two different schools) he went to play for the Adelaide 36ers, a professional Australian team. Like most players who’ve spurned college for a year of international basketball, he ended up sitting on the bench quite a bit. The sample size is small but the physical skills are there.
Oklahoma State sophomore Jawun Evans: Probably the last remaining point guard on the board the Bucks might consider selecting with #17. Barely 6-foot, Evans had a nice sophomore season to the tune of 19 ppg and 6.5 assists. He’s also known as a good finisher around the rim, but questions about his lack of height and sleight frame have some wondering if he can withstand the demands of the NBA game.
There you have it. The pickings appear to look a bit slim after the Lonzo Balls and Malik Monks have long been called to their new NBA destinations, but it’s possible the allure of fit will tickle Jon Horst’s fancy tonight.
So might there be a wild card (guard?) out there I missed? Perhaps an overseas prospect will emerge or new General Manager Jon Horst has some surprise hidden up his sleeve for his first major decision for Milwaukee. Stay tuned, we won’t have to wait long to find out.