The Milwaukee Bucks are inching closer to securing their 2019 first round draft pick, with the pick owed to the Phoenix Suns from the Eric Bledsoe trade more likely to convey in 2020. Below we will get caught up on all things NBA draft.
The Milwaukee Bucks have had their best start to a season since the 1970’s, so it’s both justified and understandable that the 2019 NBA draft takes a back seat.
The team is no longer in rebuild mode, and fans no longer need to check Tankathon on a daily basis to follow updated draft lottery odds.
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That being said, it’s still vitally important that Jon Horst and Co. continue to use the draft to fill the margins of their roster with young, controllable assets to continue giving Giannis Antetokounmpo plenty of reason to stick around long term, and to maintain flexibility and trade capital for hopeful championship runs in both the near and long term.
Unearthing these prospects at the end of the first round and into the second round is far more difficult, yet the Bucks have found Malcolm Brogdon and Sterling Brown in these spots in recent years, so it isn’t impossible.
The franchise’s 2019 first round pick is likely to be retained by the Bucks, rather than sent to the Phoenix Suns, as the pick protections are 1-3 and 17-30. To simplify, if the Bucks finish the season in the top-14 in win-loss record, they will keep the pick. The most likely scenario is for this pick to be conveyed in 2020, when the Bucks only have a top-seven protection. If the Bucks have a top-seven pick in 2020, the pick will convey in 2021 with no protections.
Amazingly, the Bucks may be in line to receive a late second round pick in 2019 if the Denver Nuggets finish the current season with a top-five record, which they are currently on track to do. This top-55 protected pick was what was received for shipping Roy Hibbert (or more specifically, his contract) to Denver.
Hibbert was originally acquired by the Bucks in the Miles Plumlee trade with the Charlotte Hornets, along with Spencer Hawes. The Plumlee trade — it’s still mind-boggling that it was pulled off — is the gift that keeps on giving. Step aside Jelly-of-the-Month club.
Milwaukee does not own the rights to their own 2019 second round pick. Perhaps just as interesting as how the Hibbert/Plumlee dynamic has played out, the original Bucks 2019 second round pick was sent out in the trade for none other than former head coach Jason Kidd in June 2014.
Shifting gears to the draft prospect side, as we arrive closer to March, some NBA fans will choose to tune in a little more to the college ranks. Even the basketball followers most opposed to this amateur side of the game can appreciate the excitement, drama and win-or-go-home mentality of March Madness.
More fervent followers of NCAA basketball have been treated to the Zion Williamson experience, the likely No. 1 overall pick, leading a Duke team with four likely first round draft picks. Regional followers in and around Milwaukee have seen the 12th ranked (AP Poll) Marquette Golden Eagles start the season with a 17-3 record, including an undefeated 14-0 at Fiserv Forum.
No matter your taste for non-NBA level basketball, 60 player are drafted every year, with many more suiting up in NBA Summer Leagues, invited to training camps, and making NBA G League rosters.
Below is the second iteration of my NBA Draft big board, with the initial one available here. Keep an eye on these names if you choose to tune in throughout the remaining two-plus months of the college season, as many will be wearing an NBA uniform next year, and one might just don a Milwaukee Bucks uniform alongside Giannis Antentokounmpo and company come this June.
2019 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0
- Zion Williamson – F, Duke
- R.J. Barrett – W, Duke
- Ja Morant – G, Murray State
- Nassir Little – W, North Carolina
- Cam Reddish – F, Duke
- Jarrett Culver – G, Texas Tech
- Darius Garland – G, Vanderbilt
- De’Andre Hunter – F, Virginia
- Romeo Langford – W, Indiana
- Keldon Johnson – W, Kentucky
- Kevin Porter Jr. – G, USC
- Sekou Doumbouya – F, Limoges (International)
- Rui Hachimura – F, Gonzaga
- Brandon Clarke – F, Gonzaga
- Jaxson Hayes – C, Texas
- KZ Okpala – F, Stanford
- Coby White – G, North Carolina
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker – W, Virginia Tech
- Tre Jones – G, Duke
- Luguentz Dort – G, Arizona State
- PJ Washington – F, Kentucky
- Bol Bol – C, Oregon
- Admiral Schofield – W, Tennessee
- Jalen McDaniels – F, San Diego State
- Ty Jerome – G, Virginia
- Jontay Porter – C, Missouri
- Daniel Gafford – C, ArkansaS
- Grant Williams – F, Tennessee
- Quentin Grimes – W, Kansas
- Louis King – W, Oregon
Stick with us at Behind the Buck Pass as our annual draft coverage will ramp up in the months ahead.