Milwaukee Bucks: What to take away from rumored Deni Avdija meeting

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 07: (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 07: (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly met with presumed lottery pick Deni Avdija ahead of this year’s NBA Draft, sparking plenty of speculation.

Things have been relatively ho-hum surrounding the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Less than two weeks from draft night, it’d be understandable why the Bucks have strayed away from the flurry of conversation and speculation at the top, especially as they hold the 24th overall pick. Even within a draft that could be as unpredictable as we’ve seen for some time.

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But earlier in the week, the report from The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss ($$) that relayed that the Bucks are among the teams that have met with Israeli forward and projected lottery pick Deni Avdija managed to raise an eyebrow or two.

Simply put, it’s not everyday you see a report of a team standing late in the first round meet with a prospect that has been a consensus lottery pick all throughout this process, much less one projected to go in the top 5 as Avdija is by various outlets.

If nothing else, this report certainly speaks to the unpredictability that we could see in full force in less than two weeks time.

What, if anything, can we gleam from the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly meeting with Deni Avdija ahead of this year’s NBA Draft?

It’s only natural to want to connect any dots from the Bucks’ reported meeting with Avdija as we’re attempting to do right now. With that said, those dots don’t realistically lead to a scenario in which Avdija dons a Bucks hat on draft night.

That’s what makes this perplexing. When you add in the fact that that all NBA teams are limited to 10 in-person interviews with prospects under this strange and extended pre-draft process, it only raises more questions about why the Bucks would choose to use one of their interviews on a prospect that’s completely out of their range.

Being short on future first rounders and limited to dealing away veteran pieces all along their roster, the Bucks don’t have much in the way of trying to entice teams to move up in the draft order. And of the speculation that surrounds their pick in this year’s draft revolves around whether the Bucks will ultimately use it, which could make for the second straight year in which they trade out of the draft.

It goes without saying that such a scenario obviously would eliminate any possibility of this meeting with Avdija leading him to Milwaukee, at least immediately. And even with his projection, Avdija certainly stands as a more developing piece that would counter the win-now timeline the Bucks are currently in.

Doing their homework on someone like Avdija, to the lengths of actually meeting with him in person ahead of the draft, naturally only raises speculation of the Bucks’ motives in this situation.

It doesn’t take long for that speculation to lead us to uncomfortable scenarios, ones that lie in wait in regards to what the near future holds for the Bucks. In all intents and purposes, the franchise is at stake with whatever superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo decides to do with his supermax extension offer this truncated offseason.

Of course, the Bucks have remained steadfast in not even entertaining trade discussions with Antetokounmpo at any point between now and throughout the 2020-21 season, something that ESPN’s Zach Lowe reinforced in his offseason preview. But you don’t meet with Avdija without having some sort of contingency plan in place if doomsday comes.

To be very clear, it’s all possible that the meeting with Avdija ultimately leads to nothing and the Bucks are obviously willing to ride out the Antetokounmpo to the very bitter end, whenever that day will ultimately come.

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But given the gravity of this offseason and what the 2020-21 season will be, the Bucks are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to meeting with one of the top prospects in this draft. Time will tell whether anything will come of it.