Grading Milwaukee Bucks' Draft-Day Decisions
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As the curtains closed on the 2013 NBA draft Thursday night, many fans of the Milwaukee Bucks were probably left wondering where the team's choices left them in terms of the future. Clearly the moves made on draft night need time to unfold, but it's never too early to hand out grades.
Here's a deeper look at how the additions of Giannis Adetokunbo and Nate Wolters impact the team.
First Round: Giannis Adetokunbo (SF, Greece)
With their first-round selection, the Bucks went off the board a bit and picked the 18-year-old Greek prospect Giannis Adetokunbo.
It's no secret that picks like this are almost always high-risk, high-reward.
In this instance, General Manager John Hammond deemed Adetokunbo worthy of taking that risk with the first post-lottery selection.
However, it's not a great choice.
What grade do you give Milwaukee's selection of Giannis Adetokunbo at No. 15 overall?
Taking unproven, international talents has become a bit of a hipster trend among league GMs and it's a bit baffling.
The emergence of players like Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol—among others—have prompted teams to pay much closer attention to talent outside of the United States, almost to a fault.
At a lengthy 6'9", there's no denying the potential Adetokunbo possesses, but it's also hard to deny the likeliness he'll ever fulfill it isn't very high.
With other equally talented players who have more experience and, in turn, a greater wealth of basketball knowledge, and who have played against better competition, the choice of taking the young Greek becomes a big reach.
As the pick came through, the question of whether or not Adetokunbo would join the team immediately or spend more time developing his skills overseas was likely going through the heads of many.
According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hammond sounded set on him playing for the Bucks next season during a post-draft press conference:
But Hammond made it clear he wants the young player to be in Milwaukee next season.
“He loves the game,” Hammond said. “He has a great smile and a great skill set.
“There is a real transition period for him. You’re talking about a kid who has only been out of the country (Greece) one time. And that was a few weeks ago when he played with the Greek national team.
“He wants to have his family here with him, and we’re going to work hard to have that happen.
“The sooner we can get him on the floor, the better it’s going to be. You look at it and say, ‘Is it going to be a D-League type situation?’ I hope not. The best thing to do is just keep him right here with us, be around NBA players, NBA games, NBA travel. Let him grow and develop.
This would lead one to thinking that the Bucks are going into a rebuilding mode, but as Gardner also pointed out earlier this month, owner Herb Kohl said that isn't being considered.
If we're to believe Kohl, it's not very plausible to think Adetokunbo will see the court.
And that leads to the question of whether or not he'll ever see minutes on an NBA court.
So while he might have the potential most scouts like, he wasn't the best choice for the Bucks at No. 15 overall.
Second Round (via Philadelphia): Nate Wolters (PG, South Dakota State)
With the No. 43 pick of the draft, the Bucks drafted Providence shooting guard Ricky Ledo, but quickly traded him and a 2014 second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the services of point guard Nate Wolters.
Making that move just may have salvaged the draft for Milwaukee.
What grade do you give Milwaukee's trade to acquire Nate Wolters?
Wolters averaged 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game during his four-year tenure with the Jackrabbits. He also proved he can be an efficient player by shooting 45 percent for his college career.
Despite not standing out in terms of his athleticism, Wolters is fundamentally sound and does the little things that could potentially lead to him becoming a legitimate starting point guard for the Bucks.
Not to mention, he has adequate size.
Unlike some collegiate guards who make the leap to the NBA and are immediately faced with the challenge of being undersized, at 6'4", Wolters doesn't have to worry about that.
With an impressive offensive arsenal, the transition on that side of the court shouldn't be of concern for Bucks fans. He won't blow by defenders, but he is crafty and is efficient, so finishing around the rim and in the lane shouldn't be an issue.
It's the defensive side of the ball that may hold him back somewhat.
Without elite quickness, Wolters' ability to defend could potentially become an issue. As the tempo of the league continues to accelerate and guards keep getting quicker, he may find himself at a disadvantage.
However, good team defense can often mask subpar individual defense, so how the Bucks move forward as a team defensively is a major factor in Wolters' success.
It's hard to pinpoint what his potential is, but acquiring him on draft day helped salvage Milwaukee's draft.
Overall Draft Grade: C
In the end, the Bucks had an average draft.
The selection of Adetokunbo is a major gamble and if he never sees many minutes, it's going to turn into a wasted pick when there was other talent on the board.
However, the addition of Wolters via trade helps alleviate the bad taste of their first pick. He's a player who could become an everyday starter down the road and if Brandon Jennings ends up elsewhere this summer, the move becomes even more important.
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