With the NBA draft tonight, soon enough we’ll have some new blood to break down on Milwaukee’s roster. This is an intriguing draft for Milwaukee, not necessarily because of where they’re picking, but in terms of Horst potentially showing what sort of philosophy he’ll employ. Either way, all that really matters is if their selection can cut it, so our staff broke down who they want to see Milwaukee take.
Adam - Harry Giles (Center, Duke)
I get the medical concerns. I realize he could barely get playing time at Duke. But the possibility of whoever Milwaukee picks at 17 even becoming a competent NBA player is slim enough there’s no point not shooting for a home run. Giles flashed rebounding prowess, something Milwaukee desperately needs, and I do think there’s something to be said about their training staff having extensive experience dealing with ACL tears. If Giles retains a bit of his spring from his high school days, the idea of both he and Thon as complements to Giannis feels like a menacing frontcourt. Monroe opting in means he wouldn’t be thrust into playing time, and he could even get the chance to occasionally dip into the G-league. Take the risk, what’s the worst that could happen? We already are living with Rashad Vaughn.
Mitchell - Harry Giles (Center, Duke)
Adam and I, we just think alike, we can’t stop high-fiving. Giles doesn’t fit a need at center, is probably not ready to play on day 1, and may never be truly ready to contribute. That rationale would be terrifying at the top of the draft! But in the middle of the first round, you either need to pounce on somebody who dropped, reach for someone who nobody else wants in the first, or take a swing on a talent who might alter the direction of your team. Giles is that talent, and with proper expectations (splitting time to Thon Maker, rather than playing alongside him) could find himself successful with the Bucks. Milwaukee needs a guard, but Giles sort of needs Milwaukee, and in five years that could make all the difference.
Or he’ll be out of the league.
Dylan - OG Anunoby (SF/PF, Indiana)
His stock has dropped as of late and yes, I’m aware that he may sit out the entire season while still recovering from an ACL injury in February. But with the uncertain future of Jabari Parker looming overhead I love Anunoby’s raw talent, athleticism and upside. He’s grinder, especially on the defensive end and he’d be a fun partner for Giannis on both ends wreaking havoc on opposing offenses and roasting them in transition. He’s almost 20 years old and his body is built for the NBA. His underwhelming shooting is tough to swallow, but he wears short shorts and really pulls them off.
Rachael - Edrice "Bam" Adebayo (F/C, Kentucky)
I was going to go with Harry Giles, but since he has already been chosen by multiple staff members, I wanted to mix it up and be different. Before you jump on me for this pick because we need shooting, John Calipari says he can shoot! Adebayo also led Kentucky in rebounding (8 per game) and double-doubles (eight). He also fits into the general type the Bucks have been going after: long, lengthy, and athletic. Adebayo comes in with a height of 6’10” and a wingspan of almost 7’3”. Finally, and most importantly, he can guard all 5 positions. It’s pretty easy for me to picture him and Thon developing together.
Greg - TJ Leaf (Power Forward, UCLA)
I will bang the Leaf drum until my drumsticks break, and then I’ll pull out hidden ones like I’m Neil Peart. He can create space and fade out on pick and rolls while also being a fantastic finisher in the paint. He played second fiddle to Lonzo Ball at UCLA, but that offense wasn’t the nation’s best just because of Ball. Leaf will slot in nicely as Telly, hopefully, begins to fade from the Bucks’ lineup.
Steve - Donovan Mitchell (combo guard, Louisville)
No question Harry Giles seems to be a popular pick. But I don’t think the Bucks want to be dealing with two players coming off multiple (serious) leg injuries. These draft picks are too valuable to have those kinds of medical question marks. Mitchell is sort of a dynamo “make things happen” combo guard. He might be the kind of bench spark plug the Bucks need on the perimeter. But will he last to #17? Also, does anyone else get the feeling new GM Jon Horst may want to make some sort of unusual splash move for his first draft?
Eric K. - OG Anunoby (SF/PF, Indiana)
Yes he is recovering from a torn ACL, but, as Adam has already pointed out that is something the training staff in Milwaukee has plenty of experience with. In today’s NBA, the ability to guard multiple positions is an absolute must. Anunoby’s quick feet allows him to stay with guards while his 235 pound frame means he can also guard bigs. Plus his length, 6’8” with a 7’6” (unofficial) wingspan, makes him a tough player to shoot over. OG already has one major thing in common with a lot of the current Bucks roster, he is long and bouncy. Also, I am a big fan of alliteration, so get Anunoby and Antetokounmpo on a fast break together and we can have some fun.
Kyle - Harry Giles (Center, Duke)
I don’t love any of the prospects in this area. For me it was between Giles and Terrance Ferguson. I decided which player is more likely to help this team in 2-3 years. I think Giles will regain some confidence and the Bucks can ease him back this year having him spend the year with the Wisconsin Herd. The talent is there and if the confidence and the ability to be on the court follows, Milwaukee might have a center rotation for the long term.