Damian Lillard's relationship with draft prospect makes him more enticing for Bucks

New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks
New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

In his latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft and intel drop, HoopsHype insider Michael Scotto reported that Weber State product Dillon Jones has a workout scheduled with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jones is projected to be a second-round pick by most, and the Bucks hold the 33rd pick, making him a viable option for when they are on the board. The wing is intriguing for a lot of reasons, one of them being his relationship with Bucks star Damian Lillard. Both Weber State products, Jones talked about some of the advice Lillard has given him. Per ABC4's Dana Greene:

Jones has built a relationship with the greatest Weber State player of them all, 7-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard, who has helped him during these NBA workouts.

“Two main things he told me was, don’t try to make it to the NBA,” Jones said. “Just try to be the best version of yourself. Going to Weber after him, it could be easy to be like, ‘oh, I’m going to try to be like Dame,’ or something like that. But, I never tried to do that. The fact that he told me that kind of confirmed it for me.”

Dillon Jones could be an intriguing addition to this Milwaukee Bucks team

Due to that built-in relationship with Lillard, Jones may feel more comfortable from day one coming into the NBA if he was selected by the Bucks. He'd be around that veteran presence daily, and Lillard would almost certainly take him under his wing. Every rookie needs their veteran, and these two are essentially already operating like that.

While it helps, the relationship between these two is not the sole reason why the Bucks should be in on Dillon Jones. He's a 6-foot-5, 235-pound wing who could give Milwaukee more depth in a spot of need. The Bucks have been looking for a big wing defender for years, and perhaps they could mold Jones into that, as he possesses the needed size, length and weight to fit the billing to a T.

Statistically, Jones improved every year during all four years of his collegiate career. He dazzled this past season, averaging 20.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and two steals. He could be a jack of all trades for the Milwaukee Bucks, providing quality passing, rebounding, defense and perhaps even a needed scoring punch.

Speaking of his four seasons in college, Jones, 22, could be more ready to compete at the NBA level than other, more unpolished prospects due to his extended stay at Weber State. Of course, that's not a guarantee, but it's a strong possibility. Given their title aspirations, a player who could help sooner rather than later should be high on Milwaukee's wish list.

One big hole in his game is the 3-point shot, having hit just 32 percent of his tries during his four-year stay at Weber State. However, given everything else he brings to the table, that should not be the end all be all. Andre Jackson Jr. wasn't known as a shooter before being drafted by Milwaukee last year but showed potential last season in that regard. Jones can certainly work on it.

It'll be interesting to see if the Bucks select Jones with their second-round selection, if they still even have it when 33 is on the board. If Jones dazzles in his workout with Milwaukee, perhaps the Bucks could aim to keep the pick rather than trade it and select up.

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