Milwaukee Bucks NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Theo Maledon

BELGRADE, SERBIA - NOVEMBER 15: (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - NOVEMBER 15: (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images) /
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Theo Maledon, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Draft
(Photo credit: LUCAS BARIOULET/AFP via Getty Images) /

Fit with the Bucks

Given that Maledon has been routinely projected as a lottery pick for some time now, dating back before the 2019-20 season, hopes aren’t exactly high that he will be on the board by the time the Bucks are on the clock this draft.

At the same time, Maledon’s draft stock has clearly cooled as the season has gone on, opening the possibility for him to be available at either the 19th or 20th pick, given that the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers are tied with their respective 39-26 records.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, though, Maledon possesses some skills and qualities that overlap with what the Bucks desire out of their guards, whether that’s spotting up to hit threes, his potential to be a defensive disruptor or even to handle the ball to initiate offense.

From that standpoint, Maledon’s game, even at it’s developing state, does have a passing resemblance to Bucks veteran guard George Hill, especially with how he fits alongside some of the Bucks’ core pieces on the court. That was something that ESPN’s Mike Schmitz relayed in his scouting report on Maledon back in February of 2019:

"“Some scouts might see Maledon as more of a George Hill type who is steady across the board, but Maledon has the positional size, feel and skill level to develop into much more than that.”"

In many ways, projecting Maledon’s role with the Bucks wouldn’t be all that dissimilar to how he was used in France playing for ASVEL, at least in an immediate sense. And he’s certainly proved that in strong levels of competition, such as the EuroLeague.

Of course, where the Bucks and all 29 other teams believe Maledon will grow his game in the NBA is the ultimate question, especially as it relates to his current deficiencies. Can he eventually become a potent penetrator? Will he become a lethal 3-point shooter?

The Bucks’ track record for developing players since the arrival of head coach Mike Budenholzer has been a key trend, and finding a capable guard, at minimum, will be a need over the next 12 months. And being able to build up Maledon’s body could be the game-changer he needs to realize his full potential, something the Bucks certainly have in-house with their strength and conditioning team.

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Being able to round out his game and overall skill set will be the biggest priority for Maledon upon entering the NBA. In Milwaukee, he may find the right situation and the patience that will be needed to do exactly that.