Taylor Braun shoots over Mike Moser during Friday’s workout at the Cousins Center.
The Bucks kicked off pre-draft evaluations Friday, inviting four standout seniors to the Cousins Center for a group workout.
Ben Brust (Wisconsin), Jake Thomas (Marquette), Taylor Braun (North Dakota State) and Mike Moser (Oregon) were the participants. And while none of the four are highly regarded prospects, the Bucks are making sure to cover all their bases.
“Ben and Jake had good college careers, but I wouldn’t say they’re NBA potential at this point, Bucks VP of Player Personnel Dave Babcock told Bucks.com. “They’re probably looking more toward overseas, but you never know down the road. I mean, stranger things have happened where a guy has played overseas for a few years. Ben can really shoot so you never say no to a shooter.”
Brust helped lead Wisconsin to the Final Four this past season and owns the school record for three-pointers made in a season (96) and a career (235). Thomas, a Racine, Wis. native, spent his final two years at Marquette after transferring from South Dakota.
“All my options are open,” Thomas said. “I’m realistic. I don’t think the Bucks are taking me with their first pick. But if they did, I would gladly accept.”
While Milwaukee is working players out earlier than normal this offseason, Babcock indicated that the team may not bring as many prospects as in years past.
“To be honest with you, the way it’s looking, it’ll probably be less players this year because we’re so high to the top that it limits us to maybe five or six guys there,” Babcock said. “And then we have 31, and 36 and 48, so a lot of those players in between are saying, ‘well now we’re not coming in there because we don’t think we’ll be at 31,’ you know how that goes.”
As the draft nears, the Bucks will continue to meet with players in Milwaukee in addition to attending the NBA Draft Combine, which begins Wednesday in Chicago. Where, exactly, the Bucks’ first round pick falls won’t be known until May 20, but finishing with the league’s worst record guarantees a top-four selection.
Regardless of where they pick,the Bucks are expected to consider a number of big-name prospects, including Jabari Parker (Duke), Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Julius Randle (Kentucky) and Dante Exum (Australia).