Milwaukee Bucks 2016-17 Season Review: John Hammond

Mandatory Credit: Sam Caravana- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Caravana- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

Doing damage in the draft

Championship teams are built in the draft. Sure, the Cleveland Cavaliers might disagree, but most teams don’t have a LeBron James. For the rest of the planet, the NBA Draft is the pivotal point in franchise building, and you would be hard-pressed to find a team that wouldn’t love the 2016 Milwaukee Bucks’ draft class.

For the second time in the last half-decade the Milwaukee Bucks went all in on the lanky international prospect with a raw skill-set and a laundry list of question marks. So far, it looks like they are 2-for-2.

Thon Maker is the real deal. Maker came along gradually, playing mostly in blowout wins and losses but die hard fans could see there was something special and Hammond and Kidd knew they couldn’t ignore his impact.

He flew around the court, altering shots and making life miserable for shooters, he stayed in front of much smaller and quicker guards and hit threes at an elite level for the position. Eventually he cracked the starting lineup and debuted in the playoffs.

In a re-do draft Thon Maker likely doesn’t fall to Milwaukee. Teams picking one through nine would find themselves giving The Sheriff a long look and someone likely would’ve pulled the trigger before Hammond and co. Milwaukee got a great player at a great pick…sound familiar?

The NBA’s Rookie of the Year race features the other Bucks rookie, Malcolm Brogdon. The Prez captured the starting spot from Dellavedova and never looked back. Brogdon was arguably the league’s best rookie shooter, hitting over 46 percent of his shots including 40 percent of his threes. He showed up in big games and almost never looked like a rookie.

The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year continued his defensive aptitude in the big leagues and was rarely out of place. In the open market, a player of Malcolm’s ability would likely command in the ballpark of $10 million per season. The Bucks got him as the 36th overall pick at just south of $1 million a year. Starting guard quality production at a tenth of the price.

The 2016 Bucks draft class will go down in Hammond’s greatest hits along with acquiring Khris Middleton as a throwaway piece in the Brandon Jennings trade and drafting an unknown Greek player with a hard to pronounce last name.