3 centers the Milwaukee Bucks could draft in 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 29 (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 29 (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) /

The NBA Draft is less than a week away, the Milwaukee Bucks hold the 24th overall pick. With tons of speculation of the pick being traded or used to draft any number of players, one such position stands out as a position that will need to be re-tooled sooner than later. Brook Lopez will be 35 years old before the 2022-2023 regular season is over. Sandro Mamukelashvili is an option at center for the Bucks, and Bobby Portis filled in admirably for Brook while he was injured. However, if the Bucks want to stick with a center at that position, as opposed to Bobby who profiles more like a power forward, there are several options in the 2022 NBA Draft that could be a fit. Here are three that I think would fit well with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Centers the Milwaukee Bucks could draft in 2022: Christian Koloko

Arizona Wildcats: Christian Koloko
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 20: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Christian Koloko played a very well rounded season at Arizona and is an intriguing physical specimen, Koloko stands 7’1″ with a wingspan of 7’5″! That size and length certainly contributed to the 7.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks that Koloko averaged last season. Koloko excels at boxing out, judging missed shots and using his length to corral rebounds. In addition to the rebounds and blocks, Christian Koloko averaged 12.6 points and 1.4 assists on 63.5 percent shooting on field goals and 73.5 percent at the free throw line.

Offensively Koloko scores most of his points at the rim, relying on his length or scoring off passes, whether pick and roll, cutting to the basket or filling behind a rotating defender, Koloko is always hunting open looks at the rim. At the next level Koloko will need to develop some more moves to add to his game, like a jump hook or working on his face up game.

That being said, Christian Koloko was the Pac-12 Most Improved Player and Defensive Player of the Year. Defensively, Koloko is long, moves swiftly around the basket and is good at keeping opponents in front of him so they can’t get to the other side of the hoop and use the rim to protect their shots. Koloko has experience in playing the drop coverage on pick and rolls like the Milwaukee Bucks employ with Brook Lopez, so the learning curve may be potentially smaller in that aspect. Where Koloko could use some improvement defensively is on the perimeter, his lateral quickness isn’t the best but his athleticism suggests that he could improve in that area.

Centers the Milwaukee Bucks could draft in 2022: Jaylin Williams

Arkansas Razorbacks: Jaylin Williams; Duke Blue Devils: Mark Williams
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MARCH 26: (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Another long center, Jaylin Williams of Arkansas stands 6’10” tall with a 7’1″ wingspan. Williams put up similar numbers to Christian Koloko, averaging 10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Williams would be a great asset to the Milwaukee Bucks on the defensive side of the ball, Williams does well moving his feet and is very experienced and willing to take charges, a role the Milwaukee Bucks have certainly appreciated in the past with a player like Ersan Ilyasova.

On the offensive side of the ball, Jaylin Williams reminds me of another Arkansas Razorback alum already on the Milwaukee Bucks, Bobby Portis. Jaylin Williams has the size to play at the rim, the ball handling ability to take big men off the dribble and while he hasn’t made them at a high percentage, can hit outside shots. Williams is very effective at catching the ball on the perimeter and using a pump fake and dribble to the basket to hunt a higher percentage shot, all of these attributes remind me of things Bobby Portis does, Portis could be target for Williams to model his career after, if Williams could improve his perimeter shooting the way Portis has he could become a great asset to the Milwaukee Bucks on both ends of the floor.

Centers the Milwaukee Bucks could draft in 2022: Ibou Badji

Barcelona: Ibou Badji, Sergi Martinez; CSKA Moscow: Nikola Milutinov
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JANUARY 15: (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

An interesting potential prospect the Milwaukee Bucks could take a look at is Ibou Badji, Badji is an international prospect that has most recently played for Barcelona. Badji has the greatest length of all three of the centers in this article, standing at 7’1″ with a 7’8″ wingspan! Looking at the picture above the length is evident. It’s no wonder that given his length and defensive prowess that he draws comparisons to Dikembe Mutombo. Using his athleticism to get up and down the floor quickly and his length to defend the rim provokes the thought of the two way player Ibou Badji could become in the hands of an NBA coaching staff.

Ibou Badji has a unique pairing of athleticism and quickness that go together very well, there can be a play that develops slowly and finishes very quickly because Badji catches the ball and a split second later the ball is dunked before the defense has a chance to rotate. Badji shows strong prowess in the pick and roll game, while he doesn’t yet possess an outside shot, he does employ a post fade and jump hook at times. Back to the pick and roll, Badji rolls to the basket and is always ready to receive the pass and punish the rim, picturing Badji running the pick and roll with someone like Khris Middleton who can exploit defense that doesn’t step up to defend him on the perimeter or thread the needle on passes to the roll man is an exciting thought.

dark. Next. What player archetypes should the Milwaukee Bucks target in 2022 Draft?

The NBA Draft will be held on June 23rd, stay tuned for more analysis on who the Milwaukee Bucks end up selecting.