For the first time in what feels like a long time, there exists a for-real possibility that the Bucks will not only draft someone with their first-round pick, but also hold onto them for the upcoming season. That’s exciting! While we’re (thankfully) far away from the lottery, that doesn’t mean Jon Horst & Co. can’t stumble upon a guy who may one day play a part in a real rotation.
The question I hear you asking at home is just how “good” players selected 24th overall have been the past few years. I’ve duly scoured Statmuse this afternoon and have come to the conclusion that not all hope is lost. Let’s reminisce about Some Guys:
Honestly, the haul is much better than I ever could’ve imagined! Anfernee Simons had a breakout season and is set to be duly paid, Tyus Jones rocks, Tim Hardaway Jr. is a gunner-meme, Serge Ibaka survived his stint in Milwaukee, and Reggie Jackson tricked Detroit into paying him a gazillion dollars before nabbing another $21 million guaranteed from the Clippers. Oddly enough, the 23rd and 25th overall picks have been lower outcome guys (OG Anunoby being the exception from the 2017 Draft), although that really seems more a function of the crapshoot of drafting than anything magical about 24th.
The question is not whether talent can be found, but moreso in which form the Bucks will be searching. It is a trope for a reason, so of course we must ask whether “best player available” or “best fit” should be the guiding philosophy on draft night. Once we start dropping into the late first-round, your options on the board are generally mature multi-year college grads who are nearer their ceilings or 19 year olds who just got done spending a year in the Serbian second division (but damn do they have a hell of a wingspan!). I don’t envy Horst his job, but I do have pretty high hopes of finding a difference maker this time around.
Report: Other teams expect Bobby Portis to re-sign with Bucks (NBC Sports)
Based Bobby. While there’s time to go between now and free agency opening up, it had long been figured that when Bobby Portis signed a two-year, $9 million deal last offseason with a player option, it was in effect a stopgap to a larger pay rise this offseason. As Portis said, he sees himself in Milwaukee long-term so long as the front office/ownership don’t try to get too cute with the numbers with the next contract. At his age, talent level, and position, we can only hope the next contract is agreed to five minutes after FA opens.
Milwaukee Bucks’ Wes Matthews is helping raise $250K for gym class (Wisconsin Public Radio)
Good on Matthews, one of few guys on the team who grew up in Wisconsin, for donating to and promoting a cause he believes in from his hometown Madison. From looking around, he’s actually lived in Madison for most of his pro career as well, and does a lot of work with the area Boys and Girls Club, so this is all of a piece for Wes.
Warriors, Celtics built Finals teams through NBA Draft (NBA.com)
What in God’s name is a “Draft”? You’re allowed to get players who are net-positives for your team from it? Someone call Jon Horst and tell him about this right now; it could be game-changing for the Bucks.
NBA free agency 2022: 45 players who could be available, including Zach LaVine, Deandre Ayton, Jalen Brunson (CBS Sports)
This kind of piece helped orient my understanding of how the free agent class is looking this offseason. There are the up-and-coming guys listed at the top of the article who we obviously will have nothing to do with, but about midway on down things start to get at least conceptually interesting. The biggest problems facing the Bucks include the relatively few options they have for contracts they can offer out, and that the guard class isn’t super inspiring. That, and wings are notoriously hard to come by. I don’t see any obvious young(ish) guy who should be on the lookout for a prove-it deal we can benefit from, but I trust Horst to make a solid go at the open market once again.
Making a Splash (The Ringer)
A long story here about Milwaukee native — and now Golden State core piece — Jordan Poole. Just another in a long line of examples of how different the path to contributing for a contender can be for each and ever player. For Poole, drafted 28th overall, his was not an instant success, appearing in 57 games for the 15-50 Warriors his rookie season. Since, with plenty of work and refinement of his skillset, he’s positioned to have a fruitful career for years to come. Good on him, and let’s hope the Bucks can find something similar at the 24 slot later this month.
Former No. 2 pick Michael Beasley reportedly getting 7-figure deal to play in China (Yahoo)
The latest in Bucks-from-yesteryear. We wish Beas the best of luck as we fondly remember his arriving from Houston and being far better than I could’ve ever imagined he’d be for us. His NBA career is probably over, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few miles left in the tank for another league.
Fan Post of the Week
Great piece that wholly deserves the FPOTW shine it will get from Cptdiesel with “Bucks Draft Prospect Tiers and Analysis”. By far the best quip of draft talk I’ve seen so far this offseason has to be about the following tier of one:
“I’ve seen this guy mocked to the Bucks and I’ll light myself on fire tier:
One of my favorite parts about pre-draft chatter is hearing who everyone loves or loves to hate, and why. The fact that, prior to the draft process, I’ve not heard of 99.9% of the players mean I’m a completely blank canvas who can be sold on why anyone we pick will become the next great Buck. Except Walker Kessler, of course. Once again, per Diesel:
“Walker Kessler: he’s just not good. Please God no.”
The Social Media Section
Let’s check in on Sandro
Nearly-ringside seats courtesy of LED’s willingness to incur luxury tax payments. Respect.
Who at Nike designed Khris’s person logo? What is it supposed to be?
Giannis conducts his annual offseason schedule like clockwork. First, a trip to some sunny locale like Los Angeles, then to the Acropolis in Athens, finally a stop at Mars Cheese Castle before the real work begins.
Our apologies to the sports reporter from Rhinelander, but Gabe’s seat in the Forum’s media section is sacrosanct
I heard similar things from local TV friends in Wisconsin markets that were denied credentials when the Bucks made it last year.— Andrew Goldstein (@AndyGold24) June 2, 2022
Very much sucks to see the people that invest time, effort and resources daily into covering the team get treated like this at the end. https://t.co/nU3DYPVkaL
This week I’m going to start following in the footsteps of the great Cptdiesel and begin churning out prospect profiles. If there is any player in particular you’d like me to spend some time writing about in-depth, please make a note of them in the comments. I’ve no strong feelings on anyone and so will be happy to write about almost any player — it helps if they’ve been mocked somewhere in the 20s because I just don’t think a lottery guy will drop to 24th barring absolute disasters for some of the prospects.