It’s still unclear who the Milwaukee Bucks will select with the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday. While a guard seems likely, John Hammond said on Tuesday he, “won’t rule out [the Bucks] taking center or forward,” according to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In order to get a better idea of who may wear a Bucks hat Thursday night, here are profiles on the eight players most likely to become Bucks.
Who is you?
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shot up draft boards since combines started and he may have even shot past the Bucks slot at 15. But he would be a hell of a pickup if he’s still around when the Bucks select. The 6-6 guard out of Georgia has a great jump shot with above-average athleticism and unlike many guards in this draft, he has good defensive instincts. When you lay it all out like this, it’s easy to see why he’s moved up on so many draft boards. He has limited flaws in a draft full of players with multiple flaws.
The only major flaw on Caldwell-Pope is his finishing at the rim. But with his size and athleticism, it seems like this flaw could be fixed by NBA coaching.
The Bucks had Caldwell-Pope in for a workout in mid-June and Draft Express currently has him going to the Minnesota Timberwolves at 9 in their latest mock draft.
Scouts Take from Sports Illustrated:
“He takes tough shots, but he makes a lot of ’em. He can score in a multitude of ways. He scores really high in our analytical projections. His weight is a concern because he’ll have to defend some of the stronger two guards, but that’s about it. He’s a great kid, just a southern nice guy, not overwhelmed by the process.”
Who is you?
The German sensation has received multiple comparisons to Rajon Rondo. That sounds good, but what does it really mean? Schröeder is a giant in a normal person’s body with a 6-7 wingspan and hands the size of frying pans. He uses these tools to aid his distribution and ability to finish at the rim.
He played for Braunschweig last year as part of the third-teir pro B in Germany. I have no idea what that means, but he won Most Improved Player in the league and at only 19, his experience playing against grown men has to be beneficial.
There are talks about possible character issues and a diva mentality. But the talent is clearly there and his ability to create off the pick-and-roll would be welcomed in Milwaukee. Chad Ford of ESPN has Schröeder as one of the three players the Bucks are reportedly deciding between (with Shane Larkin and Glen Rice, Jr. being the other two) and I would genuinely be excited if Schröeder was a Buck after Thursday night. Think of all the German-themed promotion possibilities! Oh my!
Draft Express currently has Schröeder going at 21.
Who is you?
Jamaal Franklin from San Diego State is easy to compare to former Aztec Kwahi Leonard. Both players are reportedly hard workers, led San Diego State on offense, and were relatively unknown prior to draft workouts. Franklin seems to be a great competitor who is willing to do whatever it takes to win and that’s a quality which cannot be taught. This natural intensity along with his above average size make him one of my favorite picks for the Bucks at 15.
He’s 6-5 with a 6-11 wingspan and he has an aggressive offensive game. He needs to develop a jump shot, but as he mentions in the interview above, he realizes this problem and attributes a lot of it to bad shot selection. The first step is accountability.
The Bucks had Franklin in multiple times over the past month, including an individual workout with light shooting drills on Tuesday. Franklin has been limited in workouts lately due to an ankle injury.
Draft Express currently has him being drafted at 24 and I will be a very happy lad if the Bucks pick him at 15.
“Right now, he’s not a good enough shooter to be an NBA two-guard. It’s tough to get on the court at that position if you’re not a great shooter or a great defender. He’s got freak athleticism and he can pass better than people know. He works so hard I think he can become a better shooter. Remember, Kawhi Leonard didn’t hit threes in college, either.”
Who is you?
Shabazz Muhammad refused to work out for the Bucks or any team with a pick lower than 14. He was the top player in the 2012 high school class and would have been a top-five pick if he’d been allowed to enter the draft straight out of high school. But his tumultuous year at UCLA caused many flaws to emerge with his age even coming into question. He says he is 20 but he looks like he’s 40. Ol’ grey beard.
Once you look past the age issue, inability to play in a team offense, lack of defensive skills, and limited athleticism, Muhammad is an intriguing prospect. He can straight score, but as you’ll read below, he only had 27 more assists than I did last year for UCLA. That’s no bueno.
Shabazz or Baz or Bazzsha would be a big risk, but if he’s available at 15 then you take him. And you take him quickly. The Bucks aren’t in a position to be passive. Draft Express currently has him going to the Bucks at 15 in their latest mock draft.
“He takes a lot of criticism for a guy who scored 18 a game as a freshman in the Pac-12. He was very forthright in his interview, didn’t shy away from answering any questions. He had 27 assists for the whole year. When I saw that, I thought it was a misprint. What I want to know is, for a guy who is known to work out hard and train, and he has supposedly been trained by some of the best trainers on the west coast, why the hell doesn’t he have a right hand? I think he’s gonna slide, I really do.”
Who is you?
Chad Ford of ESPN has the Bucks selecting Larkin in his latest mock draft and it makes sense. For what Shane Larkin lacks in size, he makes up with his supreme athleticism, mental character, and natural point guard ability. He comes from the pro-style, pick-and-roll heavy offense at the University of Miami and he leads all prospects in scoring for himself and teammates off pick-and-rolls at 14.3 points per game. He would be a great replacement for Brandon Jennings if the Bucks decide to let him walk.
All of that said, he will always be 5-11 with an equally depressing 5-11 wingspan. A 44-inch vertical can resolve some of these problems but he’ll always struggle to see above NBA defenses and containing the larger guards in the league.
I have no idea what to think about Larkin. I see the appeal, but it’s hard for me to get excited about him becoming a Buck. Larkin is the son of Hall-of-Fame baseball player Barry Larkin and his workout with the Bucks garnered mixed reviews with some saying he “wowed” and others saying he “didn’t come close to ‘wow’.” Just a bunch of scuttlebutt.
Draft Express has him going 16th.
“Stud athlete, stud kid. His size is never going to change, so the question is whether your coach can live with that. He had a 44-inch vertical at the combine. He’s gonna be pretty damn good, man. If you have talented pieces around him, he’s going to be really good because he likes to get others involved. He’s an off-the-charts kid. He is truly about the team.”
Who is you?
Isaiah Canaan is a little older, shorter, and heavier than most prospects in the draft. But what the 6-foot point guard out of Murray State brings is an incredible knack to get buckets. He has a decent jump shot with good form and his strength allows him to work through contact around the rim. He takes advantage of pick-and-rolls and uses ball fakes to draw fouls, according to Draft Express.
Defense, surprise, is an issue. His size, surprise, is an issue. His ability to be a true point guard is a worry. He has flaws, but so does every player who will be available at 15. But the strengths he provides don’t excite me. I just cant imagine the Bucks drafting an undersized guard after a season and a half of Monta Ellis and Jennings.
Canaan reportedly had a great workout with the Bucks and he is projected as the 28th pick by Draft Express.
“I’m still trying to figure him out. He’s one of the best shooters in the draft, but is he a small two, or is he a converted point guard? I almost see him as too nice. He’s not really a killer. For as strong as he is he doesn’t really play a physical kind of game. He’s not that quick, but scouts have a saying: You automatically become quicker when you can make shots, because people have to guard you out there.”
Who is you?
Standing at 6-6 with 6-11 wingspan, Crabbe is also one of my favorite picks for the Bucks at 15. Partially because his size would be a welcomed addition to the shooting guard position after a season and half of Ellis and partially because he’s one of the best shooters in the draft class. He shot 53.8 percent on unguarded catch and shoot opportunities last year at Cal, according to Synergy Sports and Draft Express.
The problem with Crabbe is his ability to create off the dribble. That is a major flaw, but if he’s paired next to Jennings in the back court then he would not be asked penetrate often.
Like basically every prospect in every NBA draft ever, defense is an issue. But he seems smart enough to grasp high-level defensive concepts and his arms would allow him to create constant disruption.
Crabbe had an individual workout with the Bucks on Tuesday and he is projected as the 25th pick by Draft Express.
“He can really shoot. Smarter player than he’s probably gotten credit for. Strength and mental toughness is a little bit of a concern. He has been disappointing in workouts. He looks great as long as he doesn’t have to compete.”
Glen Rice, Jr.
Who is you?
Glen Rice, Jr. certainly has pedigree. But the 6-6 forward may lack the mental readiness for the league, even after he spent last year on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League. Rice started the D-League season slow, playing in only 147 minutes in his first 22 games. Injuries allowed him to get some burn later in the year and he delivered with averages of 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in the 25 games after he worked into the starting lineup and 29 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks per game in the D-League Championship.
That’s great and all. But the only reason Rice played in the D-League last year was because he was kicked off the team at Georgia Tech after he allowed a graduate assistant to drive his car intoxicated and he was present at a night club when a gun was fired. Rice put the incident on being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The fear he will be at the wrong place again, along with his limited talent outside of offense, is why he’s projected as the 4th pick in the 2nd round by Draft Express.
He would be a huge stretch at 15, but the Bucks have had him in for two workouts so a trade into the back-end of the first round could be a possibility. If that’s the case, then I think he may be worth the risk.
“Great bloodlines. Not as good a shooter as his dad, but still one of the better shooters in this draft. He has played the NBA game for a full year so he is slightly ahead of the college guys. I worry that he thinks he’s better than he is and he disrupts the game for other people. He still settles too much for his jump shot. Someone could pull the trigger on him in the first round.”