The lottery has been decided. The Milwaukee Bucks will pick 12th, which was 97% likely, so no one should be surprised.

In general, yesterday was miserably disappointing and predictable. I told myself I wouldn’t even watch the envelopes on display. Why bother? Math told me nothing exciting would happen, especially when it came to the Bucks. I watched anyway and immediately turned into a four-year-old. As soon as they cut to Adam Silver, I started yelling, “COME ON!” and hoped something insane would happen.

Seconds later the ESPN cameras cut to a smiling John Hammond claiming the 12th pick as Mark Jones (I think?) reminded us that the Bucks have missed the playoffs five out of the past six years.

I don’t need that sort of abuse.

So I moved onto the internet to read some columns about how regardless of who won the lottery, there was a way people would be able to claim conspiracy. The two articles I read both either don’t mention the Bucks or specifically say, if the Bucks won, no way would anyone claim conspiracy, because no one cares about the Bucks. Sigh.

But it’s time to move on, past hoping for ping pong balls to fall in an impossible way and start hoping for something more probable: a rotation player. Expectations are important now and setting them too high would probably be a mistake. Looking back over the past five drafts helps paint a picture of what the Bucks can expect at number 12.

2007Thaddeus YoungJulian WrightAl ThorntonRodney Stuckey
2008Jason ThompsonBrandon RushAnthony RandolphRobin Lopez
2009Gerald HendersonTyler HansbroughEarl ClarkAustin Daye
2010Xavier HenryEd DavisPatrick PattersonLarry Sanders
2011Alec BurksMarkieff MorrisMarcus MorrisKawhi Leonard

That is a strikingly average group of NBA players. People always say after the first few picks the draft is a crap shoot. Based on glancing at these guys, I’d disagree. I’d say the Bucks are almost certain to find a rotation player at 12. Teams seem to have gotten better at drafting guys who will, at the very least, stick around in the league. Of this group, only Julian Wright won’t be in the league next season.

It’s probably also safe to say the Bucks won’t find a star. Rodney Stuckey looks like he’s probably the ceiling, though I’m sure some would argue Thaddeus Young is better than him. Either way, that’s the kind of guy the Bucks could “strike gold” with. I suppose that’s more like striking bronze.

Charles F. Gardner spoke with Hammond after the drawing and the Bucks general manager was both realistic and optimistic.

“You go in with some hope and anticipation,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a phone interview after the lottery concluded at ABC’s Times Square Studios in New York. “But then you look at the odds, and a reality check says we’ll stay at 12, and we did.”

Hammond said the Bucks entered the night thinking they could get a good player in the No. 12 spot and “we ended the night feeling the same.”

So who are the early candidates? We’ll do our due diligence as workouts commence and things start to take shape, but early favorites include Perry Jones III and Tyler Zeller.

ESPN: Jones
Draft Express: Jones Zeller

Of the mock drafters, ESPN’s Chad Ford has the kindest things to say about the enigmatic Jones:

The Bucks gambled a few years ago on Brandon Jennings, and it paid off big time. At this point in the draft, Jones is less risk and more reward.

For more on the swingman, I present to you a video put together by Phoenix Suns blog Valley Of the Suns Mike Schmitz:

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Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog