Analyzing the role of Milwaukee Bucks' NBA Draft picks in 2024-25

The Bucks added depth in the form of two 19-year-olds.
NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite
NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

For the first time, the NBA Draft was a two-day event in 2024. The Milwaukee Bucks made selections on both days, adding AJ Johnson on Wednesday and Tyler Smith on Thursday. With the roster's current alignment, these are the roles that both players will take on for the Milwaukee Bucks in their rookie seasons.

What AJ Johnson and Tyler Smith can do for the Bucks in 2024-25

With the 23rd pick, the Bucks selected Johnson, which came to the surprise of many fans. The biggest reason for the pick being surprising comes from his weight. Per his player bio, Johnson is listed at 160 pounds.

Due to his weight, the concern with Johnson is that he will have to wait to contribute to an NBA team. With the Bucks' aging roster and seemingly in a championship-or-bust spot with their current core, adding a player who isn't ready to play in an NBA game right now made little sense for Milwaukee.

Smith was added with the 33rd pick in the draft. Oddly enough, their pick in the later round is more NBA-ready than their first-round pick. Smith projects as a Bobby Portis type. He doesn't possess as great rebounding ability as Portis, but the rest of their game is similar.

Portis's current contract with the Bucks has one year left. If his time in Milwaukee ends after this season, the Bucks may view Smith as the player who will step into Portis' role. He will likely be an insurance option if Brook Lopez or Portis are unavailable until then.

Overall, Milwaukee's draft was a head-scratching one regarding what their picks will be able to contribute this coming season. Neither of them should be expected to be major contributors to the team in their first season.

It appears that the organization is attempting to swing big by drafting two 19-year-old players who possess tremendous potential. If either of the two or both pan out, Jon Horst will look like a genius a few years down the road. If not, we will feel the same way about the 2024 draft class as we do today: confused.

With trades and free agency ongoing, Johnson and Smith's roles are subject to change with roster moves. Stay tuned for Milwaukee Bucks news and analysis with the roster going through changes.