Milwaukee Bucks Draft Board: Post-Lottery Edition
Now that they know where they'll be slotted, how does the team's draft board look heading into what will certainly be a huge night for the future of the franchise?
Will they take the player who's most ready in Jabari Parker? Or will the potential of guys like Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid be too much to resist?
Regardless of who they take, it's a crucial decision that will usher in a new era for better or worse.
And while the aforementioned players could all go first, two of them will be available when the clock begins ticking for the Bucks.
Not getting the top pick comes with a certain amount of sting, but in a draft with such a wealth of talent, does it really matter?
The answer is no, at least when it comes to Milwaukee's draft board.
Let's take a look.
1. Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker is the one player who can immediately step in and fill some of the voids the Bucks were missing in 2013-14, making him the best fit for the team right now.
His offensive arsenal is the best out of anyone in the draft class, and he has the physical tools to compete at a high level from the get-go.
In his lone season at Duke, Parker averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and a respectable 35.8 percent from three-point territory.
And he did so in a variety of ways.
Whether he was posting up smaller defenders or knocking down mid-range jump shots, Parker scored in every way you could think of. In fact, according to GoDuke.com, he broke or tied the freshman record for points, points per game, rebounds, double-doubles and 20-point games—among others.
Given the history of Duke's program, that's impressive.
Why He Fits: Parker could immediately fill a void in terms of scoring and efficiency for a team that ranked 28th in points per game and 26th in field-goal percentage. Not only that, but he's also considered a high-character individual and can help lead the Bucks as they usher in a new era.
Why He Doesn't: The Bucks allowed opponents to score 103.7 points per game last season (ranking 25th), and Parker is far from a great defender. His addition would also require the team to regularly play Giannis Antetokounmpo at shooting guard or power forward, neither of which would be ideal long term.
2. Andrew Wiggins
Out of every player in this summer's draft, Andrew Wiggins possesses the greatest amount of upside.
Wiggins, somewhat quietly, put together a stellar freshman season for the Kansas Jayhawks by averaging 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from three-point land.
Unlike Parker, though, Wiggins was not nearly aggressive enough throughout most of the season and suffered more inconsistent play. While a lot of weight was on his shoulders, he did seem to lack a certain fire until a late-season flurry.
Still, NBA teams love potential, and he has plenty of it.
According to NBADraft.net, Wiggins measured 6'7", 196 pounds, with a wingspan of 6'11" at the 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson and Larry Sanders, the Bucks are already ridiculously long, and adding Wiggins would only add to that spectacle.
And while he's not as polished as Parker offensively, Wiggins is a much better defender and athlete.
Why He Fits: Potential, potential, potential. Whereas Parker is more of a safe bet, Wiggins comes with immense upside. He's an elite athlete who can finish above the rim and defend at a high level. He could potentially be a perennial All Star.
Why He Doesn't: There are questions about his mentality; he also has a lack of readiness offensively and is somewhat turnover prone.
3. Dante Exum
Brandon Knight just had the season of his career, but don't think that means the Bucks aren't taking a close look at Dante Exum.
At 6'6" with a wingspan of 6'9", according to DraftExpress, he possesses excellent size and length for a point guard and immediately—in those regards—draws the comparisons to Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Offensively, Exum's game is well-rounded, as he has no trouble getting to the rim to score or getting his teammates involved by orchestrating things.
DraftExpress cites his mid-range game as a weakness and something to improve upon, but his size make him a legitimate prospect regardless.
Why He Fits: Aside from his excellent size for a point guard, Exum is known for being a creative ball-handler and someone who can get to the rim with ease. A star point guard is something many teams dream of having, and Exum possesses that potential. Additionally, his acquisition could allow Knight to transition to the 2, which some believe he would be more comfortable playing.
Why He Doesn't: With Knight and Nate Wolters already on the roster and coming off of solid seasons, the need for a point guard isn't dramatic, and the team would probably be better served filling gaps that need to be filled. Exum may also not be ready to make an immediate impact.
4. Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid's one and only season at Kansas was slightly shortened by injury, but the 28 games he played in were enough to get most scouts drooling.
Averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 62.6 percent is impressive enough, but the 7-footer added 2.6 blocks per game for good measure.
According to his player profile on the Kansas athletics website, Embiid didn't start playing basketball until he was 16 years old.
Given what he showed during his freshman season, that's pretty remarkable.
On the contrary, it also means he lacks the lifelong experience that others in the draft have and that he has a ton to learn yet, especially from a basketball IQ standpoint.
Perhaps the biggest concern, though, is his reliability.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, Embiid's agent, Arn Tellem, didn't make the big man's medical records available at the pre-draft camp last week.
Whether or not they get released prior to the draft is yet to be seen, but with the Greg Oden disaster still fresh in the minds of many, hiding ailments is probably not a great idea.
Why He Fits: Truth be told, Embiid doesn't really fit. Still, given the fact that he has a strong skill set and put together an excellent freshman season for someone who hasn't played the game long means the Bucks have to do their due diligence and give him serious thought.
Why He Doesn't: Despite a horrendous year, Larry Sanders just signed a hefty extension last summer and John Henson has shown glimpses of emerging as the team's future power forward. Even setting Embiid's injury issues aside, the Bucks have a talented frontcourt, and there simply isn't much room for him.
5. Marcus Smart
Despite improving statistically, Marcus Smart's sophomore season at Oklahoma State probably wasn't one many would consider a great success.
After being discussed as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, Smart returned to the Cowboys and averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor—a number dragged down by his 29.9 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.
In fact, it seemed as though some forgot about him prior to—as B/R's Tyler Brooke pointed out—his stellar draft combine.
After some temper issues during his sophomore season—which included landing him a three-game suspension—Smart's character became a question for some teams. But, on the court, Smart's skills deserve a second glance.
At 6'3", 227 pounds, per DraftExpress, he doesn't possess great height, but he more than makes up for that with his strength and chiseled frame. He can take contact in the lane and finish at the rim with the best of them and is a solid distributor.
As was the case with Exum, the Bucks aren't really pressed for a point guard, but Smart could definitely serve as a combo guard given his scoring prowess.
Why He Fits: He's an excellent scorer who can attack off the dribble and either finish at the rim or draw a foul. He also is a very good defender and rebounds at a superb rate for a player of his size and at his position.
Why He Doesn't: Again, the Bucks have no urgent need for a point guard, and the unknown of whether or not he can be a legitimate 2-guard might be too risky to use the No. 2 pick on him. Additionally, the concerns about his temper should raise flags, especially for a team that has several questionable personalities in O.J. Mayo and Larry Sanders.