With the selection of E.J. Liddell at #16, we have reached one of the players that’s been most popular amongst the Milwaukee Bucks Twitterfolk. A power forward out of Ohio State, with the recent success of tweener Grant Williams in the Playoffs, it’s en vogue to think about someone like Liddell filling a similar role at the next level. This is from Mike Schmitz at ESPN:
Former college players ranging from Draymond Green to Grant Williams come to mind when watching Liddell. Leading the Buckeyes deep into March will go a long way in proving to NBA scouts that they should value Liddell’s on-court impact and toughness over his perceived “upside.”
He spent three years at Ohio State honing his craft, ultimately emerging in his final season with a 37.4% 3-point percentage (123 attempts) and 76.5% from the line (221 attempts), showing enough shooting pop that the league was bound to take notice. The Ringer says his ball handling is rather loose and he had some troubles with tunnel vision, but that’s not something that I imagine he’d have to do right away for most teams.
Anyone drafting him is likely looking for him to help out defensively from the outset. He has a 6’11” wingspan, and would have a more developed body than many underclassmen in this draft. How much upside is left is an open question, but even when you’re drafting in this range, just finding a useful player is a boon. Just ask the Milwaukee Bucks laundry list of #17 picks over the last decade.
I like Liddell quite a bit (even if he has the dreaded periods between his first initials — always hate having to type that) and think it’d be a godsend if he somehow fell to 24. Clearly, the readership agrees by putting him this high. Here’s the full ranking so far:
- Chet Holmgren
- Jabari Smith
- Paolo Banchero
- Jaden Ivey
- Keegan Murray
- Dyson Daniels
- Shaedon Sharpe
- Bennedict Mathurin
- A.J. Griffin
- Jalen Duren
- Johnny Davis
- Jeremy Sochan
- Ousmane Dieng
- Ochai Agbaji
- Mark Williams
- E.J. Liddell
And here’s the usual spreadsheet from Adam Spinella. Let’s vote for 17.
My pick for #17 on the community draft board is...
This poll is closed
Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State
TyTy Washington Jr., PG, Kentucky
Tari Eason, SF, LSU
Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee
Jalen Williams, SG, Santa Clara
Jaden Hardy, SG, G League Ignite
This poll will close at 8 am central, June 10.