Before Saturday’s workout, the Bucks thought they had their most talented group on hand. It didn’t disappoint as Bucks Director of Scouting, Billy McKinney, felt that this was undoubtedly the best workout to date, according to Bucks.com.
E’Twaun Moore was the elder statesman of the bunch. He’s only the third Big Ten player to accumulate 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists for his career. His senior year, he averaged 18 points on 44.7 percent shooting. His prolific college career may have been a thorn in the side of many Wisconsin Badger fans, but Moore is a proven producer. One problem Moore may have is finding his position in the NBA. He’s been touted as a point guard for most of his career, but his play may be much closer to that of a two. It was Moore’s job at the workouts to cover Alec Burks. McKinney felt that Moore was underrated defensively and challenged Burks well.
Forward Markieff Morris is slightly different from his brother Marcus Morris. Markieff is less versatile than Marcus. On Wednesday, McKinney felt Marcus could play both forward spots, while Markieff is a traditional power forward. Markieff displays a little less offensive skill than his brother, but is a better defender with the ability to hit some mid-range jumpers and provide support on the boards.
Tristan Thompson is certainly a very good player. “Just absolutely love Tristan Thompson the way he plays, the way he approaches the game. He always plays like he’s a pit bull that hasn’t been fed in about a year and that you’ve got pork chops in your pockets and that’s the basketball,” said McKinney. That’s very strong language. But the problem is that the Bucks already have a lot of bodies in the frontcourt. Thompson is aware of the Bucks frontcourt situation and was very positive in his answer about it. He said he’d be honored to be just “another tool in the toolbox.” Defensively, Thompson is as good as they come out of college. He does need a lot more work to polish his offensive game. The Bucks offense can’t afford another player like that and their defense can do without.
Cory Joseph and Chris Wright battled in the other guard position. Wright boasts a much more impressive college career. Joseph is a more enticing physical specimen who oozes that natural point guard gene everyone loves.
Burks is the frontrunner to go to the Bucks in several mock drafts. So it’s good to hear him say he thinks he can fit well with the team and likes the city didn’t say too much in his interview. It doesn’t amount to much, but it’s good to hear.
On his strengths, both Burks and McKinney talked about the ability to draw contact and get to the free throw line. McKinney also talked about Burks ability to create his own shot. “He’s kind of a slashing-type player, really smooth the way he handles the ball, but has a knack of being able to initiate contact, get into the paint and get to the foul line, which is a good thing. He’s a really good athlete and one of the things that we asked him, when he does finish, typically, he finishes not always over people as you see some of the more explosive guards do, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an explosive player.”
It’s great that Burks doesn’t expose himself in the paint. A lot of brutal things can happen down low. But sometimes, I need my highlights. The only important thing is that Burks finishes and creates. He showed great finishing ability in the workout, but gauging someone’s passing ability is a tricky business in a three-on-three game.
Ian Segovia writes for the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter.