The Milwaukee Bucks will continue to piece together the puzzle tonight as they partake in the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, starting at 6:00 PM CT on ESPN.
The Bucks are in the thick of trade rumors, along with currently owning the 15th and 43rd selections in the Draft. We asked our panel of experts how they see things shaking out for Milwaukee come draft night.
If they decide to keep the pick, who do you think the Bucks will select at pick #15?
Nick Whalen: I’m going to make the assumption that Brandon Jennings will be back next season, which leaves the shooting guard spot as the Bucks’ primary need. Though I think Milwaukee would gladly take Kentavoius Caldwell-Pope or C.J. McCollum, I don’t see either getting past Philadelphia at 11 or Dallas at 13. That leaves Jamaal Franklin, Tony Snell and Allen Crabbe as the primary candidates. Any of the three would provide the Bucks with some size and defensive ability in the backcourt.
Zach Hicks: Jamaal Franklin. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope likely selected by No. 15, the Bucks go with Franklin. They worked him out recently and his competitive fire will be attractive to Hammond and Co. His freakish 6’11” wingspan gives him great potential defensively. He could become a really good player if he figures his shot out.
K. L. Chouinard: My top-three guesses at the pick would be:
1) Dennis Schröder
2) Sergey Karasev
3) Giannis Adetokunbo
My sense — partially based on the last few years of picks — is that John Hammond wants to pick young. In this year’s draft class, young equals foreign, especially near the middle of the first round. Schröder may be there at #15, and his availability will largely come down to whether Utah wants him a spot ahead of the Bucks. Positionally, he overlaps with Brandon Jennings, the most likely of the free agents to return, but Hammond normally drafts for talent over need and this year won’t be any different.
Alex Skov: Shane Larkin, Jamaal Franklin or Allen Crabbe. Larkin would be a shot at a long-term point guard answer at the point; Franklin is the tenacious backcourt defender that has been missing for several years; and Crabbe is the play if the Bucks are absolutely committed to ceding to Brandon Jennings/letting him go nuts in his final year with Milwaukee.
Cole Brown: If either C.J. McCollum or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope fall in to Milwaukee’s lap at #15, the Bucks will have a no-brainer selection. That scenario is very unlikely, so the Bucks will likely make their decision between three guys; Jamaal Franklin, Shane Larkin and Allen Crabbe. I think Milwaukee will end up selecting Jamaal Franklin, who impressed the Bucks with his incredible length and potential.
If they decide to keep the pick, who do you think the Bucks will select at pick #43?
Nick: As always, the second round is very difficult to predict, but I think the Bucks will look for more help in the backcourt. A number of very accomplished college players will be available, and I’d like to see Erick Green or James Ennis – who are both capable of playing multiple positions – be the selection if either are available. Green showed a bit of immaturity during his interview with the Bucks last week, but there is no question that he is a big-time scorer and playmaker.
Zach: Alex Abrines. The Bucks haven’t worked him out yet, but I do recall Hammond and Weltman going overseas to scout international players. They’ve been targeting 2-guards, and Abrines has a lot of really nice tools that could give him a high ceiling. At No. 43, he’s absolutely worth the risk.
K.L.: Phil Pressey or perhaps Archie Goodwin.
Alex: The best offensive-minded player available. Someone will have to put the ball through the hoop and, without Monta Ellis, the paradigm should (ideally) shift toward scoring by committee. Realistically, though, the Bucks will look to Erick Green if he’s available. If not, Nate Wolters and Glen Rice, Jr. (despite any conditioning concerns) will be on Milwaukee’s radar.
Cole: I think one of two point guards projected to go early second round — Isaiah Cannon and Lorenzo Brown — could be available for the Bucks to select at pick #43. Cannon is a great shooter and a high character guy who led his Murray State team to a 26-1 regular season record in 2011-12. Standing 6’5″, Brown is an athletic, explosive and oversized point guard who can also slide over and play the two if necessary.
Who is a big-name prospect you could see falling the Bucks at pick #15?
Nick: One guy teams seem to have universally soured on is UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. He struggled with shooting and efficiency in his lone season with the Bruins and has been unimpressive in workouts. Milwaukee has not hosted Muhammad, but it would be interesting to see if Hammond and Co. would take a (major) risk on the former top recruit should he be available. I could also see Cody Zeller sliding a bit, especially given the recent rise of Steven Adams on many teams’ draft boards.
Zach: I predict Shabazz Muhammad will fall to the Bucks at No. 15 and the Bucks, to my dismay, will pass. However, I think there’s also a good chance Michael Carter-Williams slides a bit. If the Kings don’t take him at No. 7, Detroit would be the last feasible destination before No. 15 (and they still have Brandon Knight). I don’t see him as the kind of point guard the Jazz like–they’d like someone who can shoot.
K.L.: Is Shane Larkin a big name because people are familiar with his story and his father? If so, then he may be available and the Bucks may take him. It’s not really much of a fall though. Hopefully the Bucks’ experience with
undersized guards will scare them away.
Alex: If a hyped name is going to fall to the Bucks at No. 15, it will be Anthony Bennett (currently projected as Sacramento’s No. 7 pick). Not big enough? Try Trey Burke. He’s a small point guard who doesn’t get to the charity stripe often and doesn’t shine in transition. This could happen if New Orleans passes him by in order to stick with the Austin Rivers PG experiment. Who’s to say N.O. isn’t? They just re-branded as Pelicans.
Cole: With the Timberwolves (who are targeting a wing player) desperately attempting to move up in order to draft Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo, I could see Kentavious Caldwell-Pope slipping down the board to Milwaukee at pick #15. Shabazz Muhammad is also a hot name who could be available when the Bucks pick, as his draft stock has plummeted recently.
What is a possible draft-day trade you think Milwaukee might make on Thursday?
Nick: I do not see the Bucks attempting to move into the lottery on Thursday, but if they are not satisfied with the options at 15, it would not be a shock if they struck a deal and moved down. A team in need of a point guard – like New York at 24 or Phoenix at 30 – could look to jump up and grab Dennis Schroeder or Shane Larkin, which would likely enable Milwaukee to select Crabbe or Glen Rice, Jr. – who they brought in for a second workout recently – later in the first round. However, neither New York nor Phoenix hold valuable second-round picks, so the Bucks could look to unload some salary in a potential deal.
Zach: Luc Mbah A Moute and a 2015 lottery protected 1st for Paul Pierce. The C’s want a first back for The Truth and the Bucks have been rumored to be interested in Danny Granger, J.R. Smith and Paul Pierce. It seems John Hammond is working the phones and while I like Pierce, he’s going to be 36 in October. A first is too much to give up for him, but the Bucks would do it. It’ll be interesting to see how he’d handle such a transaction, but at the very least — if we’re going to try for an eighth seed, Paul Pierce’s game is a lot easier on the eyes than Monta Ellis’.
K.L.: Making a trade (either up or down) to net a pick midway between the two that they already have to get Glen Rice, Jr.
Alex: Using the No. 43 pick to acquire Paul Pierce. The clock is ticking on the Celtics and they may be forced to accept to accept a package including a second-round pick for the veteran. Or…what about Brandon Jennings to a PG-deficient team for a package of role players and the picks that GM John Hammond covets? It isn’t out of the question if the Bucks snag a point guard they love in the first round.
Cole: The word around the league is that there are many teams in the 20’s range who are willing to part ways with their picks at a fairly cheap price. Milwaukee could end up trading for one of these selections to pick up a wing player like Crabbe, Franklin, or Glen Rice, Jr. – especially if they decide to select a point guard with pick #15. It’s also plausible that the Bucks could trade back in to the 20’s if they don’t like their options at #15.