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Roundtable: Bucks Draft Night Selections

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What in the world do we think of Milwaukee’s draft picks?

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks-Press Conference Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Brew Hoop Round Table, where we ask that everybody use coasters and please don’t feed the pugs from the table, thanks. Today, the staff gathers round to share their thoughts on Milwaukee’s draft night performance selecting D.J. Wilson and Sterling Brown.

The Bucks went Bucksy with their first pick and took the lengthy, rangy D.J. Wilson. What say you?

SP Rowe: I get the feeling the Wilson pick was to cover the possibility Jabari Parker doesn’t come all the way back from injury. Many guys with two injuries to the same leg never fully recover. I also think the Bucks would have taken Kennard or Mitchell if they had lasted for a few more picks, but we have Wilson now. I watched him tear it up the Big 10 conference tournament so he might end up being a steal. His offense isn’t big time right now but his all-around game should help the team right away.

Kyle: It wasn’t what I was expecting but I’m pretty content with the pick. I think he can be a great fit in the Bucks switch heavy defense if he figures it out. He will be able to fill in as a rotational player and if his shot falls, he can be a replacement for Mirza.

Gabe: I tweeted out that the only thing I remember about Wilson from his days as a Wolverine was when he torched Wisconsin on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor in the Big Ten Championship game. He came on during the later part of the year and was a crucial component in Michigan toppling No. 2 seed Louisville in the tourney. He was a bigger contributor at the end of the season, but outside of that, the length should be utilized pretty well. Milwaukee always seems to have a niche for working those types of players into their system. Though he’s 6’11”, his frame seems to take up more space out on the floor. His shot is one of his weaknesses, but hopefully with some NBA coaching, he’ll find a groove.

Greg: My initial reaction to the pick was not very positive and after a night of sleep, it hasn’t changed too much. I didn’t really like Wilson at Michigan as he seemed to drift in and out of the game, often times defaulting to Mo Wagner. I see the upside; I wish the Bucks would <ahem> buck their raw player trend and draft a guy with a higher floor, like TJ Leaf, who is a more polished version of Wilson. However, if he can turn into a rotational player then I, along with everyone else, will be happy.

Rachael: As I stated in our staff selections post, I had a feeling the Bucks would stick with the same long and lengthy prototype (though none of us predicted Wilson). I’m fairly confident with the pick, especially since he is able to play multiple positions. However, his tendency to disappear in games at Michigan has left me slightly uneasy, because the pressure will only get more overwhelming in the NBA. Overall, I’m hopeful and excited to see how he meshes with the team.

Dylan: He’s got an NBA-ready body and some of his skills will translate with ease. He won’t be asked to do too much right away, and I think he’ll definitely contribute more than Rashad Vaughn. I’m happy with the Wilson pick because I was reserved to the fact that the Bucks would take one of the big men on the board that would have left me feeling very meh. Wilson’s hair is cooler than Jarrett Allen’s Jumanji fro, and I think Wilson should become an exciting complement to the Bucks roster.

Eric B: While I disagree with Dylan’s take on hair, I agree with him (and most of the gang) on being somewhere between fine and pleased with this selection. After shaking off some of the angst that comes with the Bucks picking someone you haven’t familiarized yourself with because he didn’t frequent the team’s slot in the mocks, it’s easy to see what Horst and Co. liked in him. Michigan ranked 4th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency last year (per KenPom), and while that program has yielded okay prospects in the pros, no player has had the combination of size and skill of Wilson. He doesn’t come without his concerns (psst: nobody at 17 was going to do that), but his potential positional versatility, basketball IQ, and offensive competence should give the Bucks the canvas they need to begin their work with him.

Mitchell: I was surprised for a few moments, but then realized that the middle of the first round isn’t necessarily where stars come from. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the exception, not the rule. That being said, taking a shot on a player who offers a lot of offensive skill (which is good), has length and mobility (which is great), and could offer a low-cost replacement to some of Milwaukee’s veterans (specifically Beasley, Teletovic, and Hawes) makes sense. Wilson might be a solid bench player in the league, and Milwaukee is going to need those.

What does Sterling Brown bring to this team?

Kyle: He will be the 3-and-D piece the Bucks were hoping to get with Vaughn. He shoots well and is a great off-ball defender. He doesn’t have one standout ability, but he also doesn’t have a glaring weakness. It might be early to say he will have the impact that Brogdon but it looks like the Bucks may have found a sleeper for the second year in a row.

Gabe: I like this pick. 3-point shooting is always needed in the NBA and we all know just how much the Bucks need it on their roster. With a team like Milwaukee that boasts so much length, spacing is always appreciated. Brown’s 45 percent from deep will definitely be noticed, especially in transition offense. I view him as a guy that will likely replace Rashad Vaughn, as his time seems to be ticking without him making any big splash in his first two years as a Buck. Hopefully the roll of the dice with Brown will end up more in Milwaukee’s favor.

Greg: I had no idea who Brown was until late last night. The things I read about the young man last night and this morning have me feeling cautiously optimistic. It’s great that he spent his time at SMU learning under former NBA head coach, Larry Brown. I’m excited to see his progress in Oshkosh and hopefully he can be one of the few 2nd rounders to provide valuable minutes to an NBA team. If he does see Milwaukee, he will be a 3-and-D guy.

Rachael: I’m not going to lie and say I knew a lot about Brown prior to last night. After doing some research today, it looks like he will be adding some sneaky explosiveness and intelligence on defense. I read a great article on SB Nation that called him a sleeper in the draft, which definitely eased my confusion with the decision to buy the 46th pick.

Dylan: Brown brings an NBA pedigree along with his sharp shooting that should hopefully translate. His stocky body and length make him a versatile weapon in the same vein as Brogdon, and he’s actually pretty young for being a four-year senior. It’s stupid to expect every second rounder to become Brogdon at this point, but it seems to be a fairly consensus feeling that Brown could turn into a legitimate contributor in the Association. It is the offseason though so we have to get excited about anything we can at this point, and Brown definitely gives us reason to at least be optimistic.

Eric B: At a minimum, you hope that him “hitting” means that he can contribute in that 3-and-D role going forward. I think he has a little more potential in his game because he was such a critical part of the 10th best offense in the country per the same Adjusted Offensive Efficiency metric, but I think the Bucks would be thrilled if he was able to hit the 3-and-D checkpoint at pick no. 46. That’s not to say it’s a sure thing that he’ll contribute; second rounders are tough to predict. But there’s also a reason smart people are calling him a steal, so we’ll see how it unfolds.

Mitchell: Length and activity on defense. Shooting and a “know your role” approach to offense. Brown might not turn heads the same way Malcolm Brogdon did, but he’s exactly the sort of wing that the Bucks need to fill out their roster with.

SP Rowe: He appears to be a truly “lights out” shooter. Approimayely 45% from 3 at SMU Is great news. He's a bigger, stronger guard type that is known to be a balls to the walls defender. Right on! The Bucks are obviously committed to length and shooting. Well done again drafting for those attributes in the 2nd round.

What areas did the Bucks fail to address that you wish they had?

Kyle: I know it was tough in the first round with the higher prospects gone, but I do wish the Bucks would have been able to get a guard. The guards on the roster, doesn’t inspire much confidence so hopefully they can find a gem in FA or the G-League.

Gabe: A point guard would’ve been nice, but I won’t lose sleep with the picks the team made. I could’ve seen them selecting Monte Morris at No. 46, but I have high hopes for Brown.

Greg: Their slot in the draft made it tricky to get a guard. They were stuck and played the hand they were dealt.

Rachael: A guard would have been nice.

Dylan: Did they even try shopping Jason Kidd?

Eric B: I suppose a guard would have been nice, but from where the Bucks were picking, I imagine that any efforts to move up were met with a high asking price in either round. Trading up is more difficult than I think people realize, too. Also, two draft picks, regardless of where they were, weren’t going to address all the Bucks areas of weakness.

Mitchell: With all of the deals that were negotiated on Thursday, it would have been fantastic to find a way to dump one of John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, or Mirza Teletovic (in that order of priority) and get another 2nd round pick out of it. Within the draft itself, I don’t think any of the guards that were available for the Bucks’ two selections were demonstrably better than the players actually chosen. Time will tell, though.

SP Rowe: Well, I think they got away from a recent Hammond Philosophy which is if you can’t get a top pick shoot for a higher ceiling pick (ie: Giannis and Thon). The Wilson pick feels too “safe.” Will either D.J. Wilson or Sterling Brown likely be a starter in 2-3 years? Maybe. But last year both Thon and Malcolm were starters by Feb/March of their rookie year. I see the 2017 picks as steps to strengthen the bench and maybe not much more. I hope I'm wrong though, I tend to be.

Any final thoughts?

Kyle: I’d say it was a solid debut draft for Horst. Both players look like they should be able to fill in the rotation which is all we can really hope for at the moment. After looking at some of the teams around the East (sup Chicago) the Bucks didn’t hurt themselves tonight.

Gabe: For the nightmare that was the Bucks GM search, I’m pretty content with how things went. Obviously, any final judgment is reserved until the end of the season, so I’ll be on the positive side of things until play on the court proves me otherwise. I’m also excited to see former Badger and the all-time 3-point leader in Wisconsin history Bronson Koenig brought on with a two-way deal. He’ll be interesting to watch in the organization and should be coming in with a chip on his shoulder after going undrafted.

Greg: It’s nice that Chicago took themselves out of playoff contention while Indiana and Atlanta seem to be following suit. At the very least the Bucks maintained their status quo among the Eastern Conference while some lesser challengers dropped. So addition by subtraction as far as the big picture is concerned.

Rachael: As Gabe stated, I think the draft went pretty darn smoothly compared to the mess the GM search appeared to be. While I wasn’t expecting the players we did draft, I also wasn’t surprised. So far, lengthy and versatile players have been working for us — so the Bucks stayed on brand. No big complaints from me.

Dylan: Wilson went to Michigan so the cold weather shouldn’t alienate him as it did to some Bucks selections in the past.

Eric B: With the two picks and additional signing of Koenig, I’m [extreme Eric Nehm voice] fascinated by what the Bucks might do next. We don’t know if Wilson, Brown or Koenig will hit, but they are three basketball bodies with decent potential who are on rookie deals. This could allow the Bucks a little more freedom to find takers for more expensive deals in Henson, Teletovic, or Dellavedova, to name a few. You may not want to throw the rookies into the fire right away, but replacing a couple of the more expensive deals with these three rookie deals could be a smart way to scrape out a little bit of cap room to protect yourself against the luxury tax or find some talent elsewhere.

Mitchell: Jon Horst stuck to the current blueprint for the Bucks, and followed a draft plan that could have easily passed as John Hammond’s. Continuity isn’t necessarily a bad thing (as long as you’re continuing in something positive and worthwhile), and Horst seems to be sticking to what his predecessor started. He and Jason Kidd also seem to be on the same page, which is a positive (or at least should be).

SP Rowe: Basically a good draft. I give it a solid B. Maybe the Bucks have finally reached a point where it’s assembled enough talent that the team can draft just for bench strength. I don't think of that as a negative though because I think both Wilson and Brown will play significant roles next year. Jon Horst did well in his first draft unless he failed to pull the trigger on a bigger talent elsewhere, potentially overseas, but it's nearly impossible to predict who that could be at this point.