Milwaukee Bucks NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Zeke Nnaji

TUCSON, ARIZONA - JANUARY 04: (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
TUCSON, ARIZONA - JANUARY 04: (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks
TUCSON, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 14: (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Fit with the Bucks

In recent years, the Bucks have been very hush-hush on their draft process when bringing in prospects for either individual or group workouts. That will certainly be easier to maintain under this new reality and with how the current pandemic has disrupted this year’s pre-draft process leading up to the Draft.

With that said, Darren Wolfson of KTSP reported on Tuesday that Nnaji was interviewing with the Bucks virtually sometime this week.

Of course, just because the Bucks are having an interview doesn’t really indicate which way they’re feeling one way or the other. But it’s a glimpse into their process and Nnaji’s projections for where he may fall in the draft, which is within range of where the Bucks are standing late in the first round.

Whether Nnaji will be under serious consideration when this year’s draft night does end up having is another question entirely.

As we have covered in previous entries regarding big man prospects in this class, the Bucks have valued their big man to be able to space the floor within the system that head coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff have created. Nnaji’s ability to stretch and shoot it is firmly a projection at this point, though his smooth stroke is encouraging on that front.

What isn’t as encouraging is the state of Nnaji’s defensive capabilities or even his awareness on that end of the floor. That isn’t to say he can’t develop into a positive defender in the future, but Nnaji’s ability to anticipate plays will be crucial in this regard and that’s especially key for rim protecting big men in Milwaukee’s system.

And by all accounts, Nnaji’s work ethic and aspirations to maximize his potential as a basketball player are all glowing. That fits within the ethos that Bucks general manager Jon Horst has generally prized through the draft as selecting high-character players is as important as their potential and overall skill set in the Bucks’ current framework.

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There’s a world in which one can see Nnaji’s fit within the Bucks’ foundation, especially so on the offensive end at this stage. But plenty of work has to be done for him to become a useful, valuable role player that can make an impact on both ends of the floor.