The two rounds of the NBA Draft are complete, and now it's time to look at how the Milwaukee Bucks did.
It was GM John Hammond's first draft for the Bucks, as he took the reigns from Larry Harris earlier in the year. And, Hammond did a good job with the two picks that he had this year.
With the No. 8 pick overall, he took Joe Alexander, a 6'8" forward from West Virginia who knows how to play the game the right way. He also has one heck of a jump shot, and will have a good chance at earning an impact role come October.
To be honest, I didn't know too much about Alexander prior to draft, except that he played well in March and is a blue-collar player. His stock rose dramatically after his workouts earlier in the month. Without seeing him play much, I still knew that he was the perfect fit for Milwaukee.
The Bucks probably had their best move in the hours prior to the draft however, as they sent Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson.
This move relieves the Bucks of a five-year/$47 million contract for Simmons, who was always hurt. Yi hadn't shown much potential on the defensive side of the ball either. The Bucks get a solid "3" who actually plays a little defense, something the Bucks desperately needed.
Back to draft day, and the Bucks still had the No. 37 pick. With that, Milwaukee took Prince Luc Richard Mbah a Moute...That's right, "Prince." Mbah a Moute is a 6'8" forward out of UCLA.
Mbah a Moute is a prince to his native village of Bia Messe in Cameroon. He now brings that royalty to Brew City, where he will share his "castle" with the Brewers' Prince Fielder. Mbah a Moute may take the reigns, though, as his "prince" status is more than a namesake.
Mbah a Moute was very popular in the City of Angels, as he developed a cult following around campus. Fans even had T-shirts made that read "Moute Kicks Boute" to show their love. I wonder if anybody on the Bucks promotional team has caught wind of that?
One reason that he fits for the Bucks is because he down-right hustles. Like Alexander, Mbah a Moute does all the things that won't appear in the box score. And for Milwaukee, which is a blue-collar town, fans will appreciate the picks that John Hammond made on Thursday.
The Bucks still may make some more off-season moves, as they could listen to trade talks regarding Michael Redd and/or Mo Williams.
Does this guarantee a return to the Eastern Conference playoffs for the Bucks in '09? Not necessarily, but they have certainly taken a step in the right direction.