The Bucks will kick off another pre-draft workout Friday, as the team welcomes six more draft hopefuls to Milwaukee.
Once again, all the participants, whom the Bucks do not announce until the morning of the session, project as second-rounders. It’s one of the more diverse workouts so far, with two guards (Carson, Cobbs), three forwards (Gardner, Mitchell, Jefferson) and one center (Klimenko).
Here’s a brief look at each of Friday’s participants:
Jahii Carson, G, Arizona State
A First Team All-Pac 12 performer in both of his collegiate seasons, Carson led the Sun Devils in scoring and assists over the last two years. Last season, the 5-10 Carson averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three. A relentless attacker off the dribble, Carson has a little Kemba Walker in him. If he were three or four inches taller, he’d likely rank among the top point guards in the draft, though an impressive 43.5-inch vertical helps to compensate. DraftExpress ranks Carson as its 56th-best prospect.
Justin Cobbs, G, California
Cobbs joined Carson on the All-Pac 12 First Team last season, one year after appearing on the Second Team as a junior. The Los Angeles native averaged 15.6 points and 5.8 assists as a senior, shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from deep. He’s a decent rebounder for the position and knocks down better than 80 percent of his free throw attempts. While he enjoyed a productive college career, Cobbs is a long shot to hear his name called on June 26.
Davante Gardner, F, Marquette
Simply put, Garner is a load. At 6-8 and nearly 300 pounds, he used his girth to bully Big East opponents for the past four years. Despite a disappointing 2013-14 season for the Golden Eagles, Gardner earned Second Team All-Big East honors, averaging 14.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game. Obviously, teams will question his mobility, and he’ll need to prove he can bang with taller players to warrant any consideration as a late second-rounder.
Cory Jefferson, F, Baylor
One of college basketball’s physical freaks, the 6-9 Jefferson showcased a 37.5-inch vertical leap at the combine, which ranked second-only to Aaron Gordon (39.0) among power forwards. Jefferson had a stellar senior campaign for the Bears, averaging 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks en route to Second Team All-Big 12 honors. His mid-range game, free throw shooting and defensive instincts remain areas of concern, though an athlete of his caliber will certainly garner some interest in the second round.
Artem Klimenko, C, Russia
The seven-footer led his Russian professional team to the Superleague Seminfinals last season, recording five double-doubles and scoring in double-figures on 24 occasions. His per-game numbers don’t jump off the page (7.0 points, 4.3 boards), but he’s only 20 years old and most teams likely see him as a project to stash overseas for a few years until he’s ready.
Akil Mitchell, F, Virginia
Mitchell teamed with Joe Harris, who worked out for the Bucks earlier this week, to lead Virgina to the ACC regular season and tournament titles last season. The senior was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team and the All-ACC Third Team. Mitchell finished off his career ranking third all-time at Virginia in games played, seventh in total rebounds and fourteenth (tie) in double-doubles. He projects as a reserve, defensive-minded big man at the next level.
If this Vine, courtesy of the Bucks official account, is any indication, Gardner and Klimenko may be two of the greatest mid-range shooters of our generation.
Check back later in the day for a recap of Friday’s workout.