4 2024 NBA Draft prospects the Milwaukee Bucks must avoid at all costs

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
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No. 3 - Zach Edey, Purdue

Zach Edey, the reigning Naismith Player of the Year and Canadian behemoth, has dominated college basketball with his size and strength. While his accolades are impressive, the Milwaukee Bucks, with the 23rd pick in the 2024 Draft, should steer clear of the gentle giant.

The NBA has moved towards a faster, more perimeter-oriented game. Edey, at a lumbering 7-foot-4 and 300 pounds, thrives in the low post – a fading skill set in today's league. The Bucks need a power forward who can stretch the floor, not a big who clogs the paint and limits Giannis' driving lanes.

Edey's immense size translates well to rim protection, but his mobility is a major concern. He'd struggle to contain shifty guards and athletic wings on the perimeter, a necessity in the modern NBA, where switching on screens is crucial. This defensive liability would create mismatches the Bucks can't afford.

This is by no means to say that elite rim protectors cannot be good defenders. But what the Bucks experienced with Brook Lopez is the same conundrum that saw the Wolves getting ousted by the Mavericks in these playoffs, and that's that even Defensive Player of the Year candidates can get played off the floor when the game slows down and spreads out.

A time is soon coming in this league (if it hasn’t yet already) where lumbering big men — defensive behemoths in their own right while also being easy to scheme around — are a regular season luxury and nothing more.

Even past that, Edey's offensive game is predicated on post moves and putbacks. He lacks a reliable jump shot, hindering his ability to space the floor and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. While he has shown flashes of serviceable jump shot mechanics in the pre-draft process, the eye test says his shooting stroke is still too slow to command respect on the perimeter.

The Bucks need a frontcourt partner for Antetokounmpo who can knock down open shots and create mismatches offensively, not just be a lob threat.

While Edey can find teammates for easy dunks, his passing repertoire is limited. The Bucks thrive on ball movement and Giannis' playmaking abilities. A frontcourt mate for Antetokounmpo who can't contribute to the offensive flow wouldn't mesh well with their system.

The Bucks are in a win-now window with Giannis entering his prime. Edey, despite his collegiate dominance, might require significant development to adjust to the NBA's pace and skill level. The Bucks need a more polished prospect who can contribute immediately and complement Giannis offensively and defensively.

It’s also worth pointing out that there are a wealth of better options available, as the 2024 Draft offers a range of power forward and center prospects who better suit the Bucks' needs. Players like Adem Bona (UCLA) or Keshad Johnson (Arizona) offer defensive versatility, rim protection and a developing offensive skillset – all qualities that complement Giannis' skillset and the Bucks' championship aspirations.

Zach Edey is a fine player who can do great things in this league for any team that picks him up in this coming draft, but his skillset doesn't align with the modern NBA or the Bucks' specific needs. His lack of mobility, limited offensive repertoire and lengthy development curve make him a risky pick at this stage of the Bucks' championship journey.

They'd be better served by pursuing a player who can contribute to their winning culture and help Giannis dominate for years to come.