The lottery is done. The Milwaukee Bucks will pick second. So where do we go from here?

(Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images) Giannis and Brandon Knight, invited guests of the new owners on draft lottery night in New York.
(Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images) Giannis and Brandon Knight, invited guests of the new owners on draft lottery night in New York.

It’s hard to think of a night in the past few years, outside of that short playoff run in 2010, that Milwaukee Bucks fans enjoyed more than yesterday. There were multiple parties in the city of Milwaukee dedicated to the thing they like that typically no one cares about. Judging from the photos, videos and feedback, it sounds like the Bucks threw a helluva party over at the Evolution Lounge.

Meanwhile, a smaller, but impressively dedicated and voracious group gathered at the Upper 90 Sports Bar to chant, hope and feel a sense of relief together. As the minutes passed and people split off into groups making conversation about everything but the idea that this could all go terribly wrong in a few seconds, excitement kept growing. Finally there was a worthy cause and an opportunity for real improvement. Nothing felt manufactured on Tuesday night. This wasn’t Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis being sold as guys who could matter. There was a top draft pick on the way.

Eddie Doucette was right: Hope is a very easy thing to sell.

But the excitement that stemmed from that hope was a feeling it seemed like everyone could get used to very quick.

So, not long after the internet began to claim Mallory Edens as equal parts meme and person, moments after the Bucks landed the second overall pick, Bucks fans began looking to the future. Now that the franchise was in a position to be changed forever, people wanted to know who would be doing the changing.

And the mock drafts were ready. They are always ready. Tons of them have been updated numerous times, the order of the draft be damned. The finalizing of that order was just another incentive to update who would go where. But it seems like a lot of them look to a few of them to guide thought process. There are so many, yet so few matter.

But the ones that matter, they do seem to matter, in that they have historically been fairly good indicators of where players will be selected in the NBA Draft. I basically rely on three:

ESPN: Joel Embiid

Draft Express: Jabari Parker

Yahoo: Andrew Wiggins

Among these three, a consensus hasn’t exactly formed on who the Milwaukee Bucks will end up with when they select number two next month. All three mock drafts are presenting different scenarios for the Bucks, though both ESPN and Draft Express believe Andrew Wiggins will be the first pick, taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The general feeling seems to be that the Cavs will decide between Embiid and Wiggins, with the Bucks most likely considering those two and Parker most seriously, with a potential Dante Exum pick not off the table either.

But medical reports must be looked at, players will arrive in cities for interviews and extensive tours, basketball and personality fits must be determined – there is much to be done before June 26 when the Bucks do finally make their selection.

As the process plays out, I present a warning: Don’t get too caught up in the back and forth about who wants to play where and which agent will try and manipulate the draft situation in which way. Players almost always end up going wherever they are drafted. Teams almost always draft the player they think will most benefit their team. I recognize that the Bucks are in Milwaukee and haven’t been very good for quite a long time, but these tweets from Jonathan Givony from Draft Express makes me think that all of the talk about the agents of Embiid and Exum trying to force the hands of teams was way overblown:

So this thing seems like it will just come down to who the Cavaliers want and who the Bucks want. But, as evidenced by the variety in the mock drafts, despite a very clear top four players, the actual order in which these players will be selected is about as clear as my thoughts at the end of a very long draft lottery party night.

What does seem clear at this point though, is it will be John Hammond making the pick.

Furthermore, it will ACTUALLY be Hammond, and not the new ownership group making the pick:

If there’s one thing Hammond has done fairly well since he’s led Milwaukee’s front office, it’s draft players, so there should be some cause for optimism among Bucks fans. And, realistically, this seems like it would be pretty tough to screw up. Regardless of who is manning the front office or making the pick, there’s a pretty small pool of players to choose from. Whether it’s you or I or John Hammond making this first pick, it comes down to three guys.

So read up on Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and (to a lesser extent maybe) Dante Exum. One of these guys will be on the Milwaukee Bucks in about a month.

Categories: Draft Talk

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  1. I might be making a big deal out of nothing, but where is Jabari Parker? A no show at the combine (understandable) and a no show at the draft lottery (why?). Is he hurt? Sick? Fat? What gives?

    It concerns me enough that at THIS point I question whether or not I want the Bucks to select him. I know it’s early and he could show up for workouts and impress everyone. The question still remains, though, why did he not take the opportunity to get some press time last night?

    • I think it’s equally valid to wonder why any of the prospects were at the lottery at all, isn’t it? Seemed unnecessary for them to be there.

    • way more question marks in my opinion with Parker than Wiggins(none of them about talent).. rather have the dynamic wing combo with Giannis for the immediate future

  2. Patrick Flanagan

    The Bucks party was awesome. $3 Tall Boys, free snacks, the dancers (the really hot ones) were there, and I got a high five from Bango. Can’t wait for the draft party.

  3. My argument for Jabari Parker:

    Starting Lineup –
    Brandon Knight
    Jabari Parker
    Khris Middleton
    Ersan Ilyasova
    Larry Sanders

    Bench –
    OJ Mayo
    John Henson

    Deep bench –
    Chris Wright
    Two second-round picks

    That team is a blast! If Wiggins is there, they have to take him (flip his starting spot with Middleton’s in the above schematic), but if he isn’t, the above team is going to A) put people in the seats, and B) develop the young guys and take some pressure off them as that happens.

    I just don’t know how Embiid fits with the current set-up, and think they can let somebody else take that chance. We’ll see how the next month shakes out. Exciting, regardless.

    I just might have to check out this Bucksketball draft party…

    • As a prior Bucksketball piece demonstrated — the Bucks’ perimeter defense was pretty awful last year and most good teams shine at that aspect of basketball today. That Knight/Parker/Middleton/Ilyasova combo looks like an historically bad defensive perimeter. While good 2 guards are scarce in today’s NBA, no one in that lineup could defend even a mediocre 2 and you’re left relying upon Sanders to clean up all the others’ mistakes.

      Rather than Parker (Big Dog 2.0), for short and long term impact I’d prefer either the legit rim protector (Embiid) or a guy whose athleticism (Wiggins) projects to at least decent defense. Wiggins is an obvious roster fit at the 2. But even Embiid would complement this current roster. Assuming Sanders gets his act together (please!), two bigs can coexist around the paint with proper coaching (think Duncan/Splitter or Gasol/Randolph). But is Drew up to that task? Pick the best player and find the best available coach.

    • I disagree.

      w/ J.Parker

      PG: B.Knight, N.Wolters, *OJ.Mayo, *G.Antetokounmpo
      SG: K.Middleton/G.Antetokounmpo, OJ.Mayo/Delfino
      SF: J.Parker, G.Antetokounmpo/K.Middleton, Delfino
      PF: J.Henson/E.Ilyasova, C.Wright/K.Middleton, L.Sanders
      C: L.Sanders, Z.Pachulia, J.Henson, M.Raduljica

      + 2 second round picks

      w/ A.Wiggins

      PG: B.Knight, N.Wolters, *OJ.Mayo, *G.Antetokounmpo
      SG: A.Wiggins, K.Middleton/OJ.Mayo/Delfino, G.Antetokounmpo
      SF: G.Antetokounmpo/K.Middleton, Delfino, A.Wiggins
      PF: J.Henson/E.Ilyasova, C.Wright/K.Middleton, L.Sanders
      C: L.Sanders, Z.Pachulia, J.Henson, M.Raduljica

      + 2 second round picks

      * = highly unlikely unless injuries demanded it.

      • Correction on the above layout –

        w/ J.Parker

        SG: K.Middleton/G.Antetokounmpo, OJ.Mayo/C.Delfino, N.Wolters/B.Knight

        w/ A.Wiggins

        SG: A.Wiggins, K.Middleton/OJ.Mayo/C.Delfino, N.Wolters/B.Knight, G.Antetokounmpo

        Now to add the other potential player pick options if can’t select the player they really want at #2 and the 76ers are desperate to get their guy perhaps the Bucks trade the #2 pick for the #3 & #10 picks.

        at #3…

        w/ J.Embiid

        PG: B.Knight, N.Wolters, *OJ.Mayo, *G.Antetokounmpo
        SG: K.Middleton/OJ.Mayo/C.Delfino, N.Wolters/B.Knight/G.Antetokounmpo
        SF: G.Antetokounmpo/K.Middleton, C.Delfino
        PF: L.Sanders/J.Henson/E.Ilaysova, C.Wright/K.Middleton
        C: J.Embiid/L.Sanders, Z.Pachulia/J.Henson, M.Raduljica

        + #10 and possible second round pick(s)

        w/ D.Exum

        PG: D.Exum/B.Knight, N.Wolters, *OJ.Mayo
        SG: K.Middleton/B.Knight, OJ.Mayo/C.Delfino/N.Wolters, G.Antetokounmpo
        SF: G.Antetokounmpo/K.Middleton, C.Delfino
        PF: J.Henson/E.Ilaysova, C.Wright/K.Middleton, L.Sanders
        C: L.Sanders, Z.Pachulia/J.Henson, M.Raduljica

        + #10 and possible second round pick(s)

        • Where are you guys coming up with your jacked up line ups?? Neither Parker nor Middleton would play the 2!! Parker is a 3 tweener 4…exactly like Middleton. You take Embiid or Wiggins, whomever is left after the first pick. You push Sanders to 4 (since he seems to love mid range jumpers) with Embiid, and Wiggins at 2 with Giannis at 3. Parker reeks of a guy that will drop 18-20 per and we will be a 7-8 seed like always…a la Redd!

    • I am not sure that your team above is a winner. On paper, they look like a 33-49 club. Why? Because I am not 100 percent sold on Mayo and Ilyasova playing on the Bucks, that’s why! I truly believe that they both need to be dealt – possibly for a lower first round draft pick. Ilyasova already wanted out of Milwaukee last year, and I’m not sure Mayo is “there” half of the time. He doesn’t look happy here in Milwaukee. Ilyasova is a slow, injured “stiff” who has one big game out of 10 when he is healthy. Also, I am not sure what the Bucks plan to do with Sanders. There will be several more key changes prior to the beginning of next year, and I would look for at least one (if not all) of those players to be dealt. But you have to love the #2. Go Bucks!

  4. might as well add to the way too early lineup/draft predictions……..

    Mayo and Ilyasova and Radujica get traded for equally expendable contracts which promptly get cut.
    PG: Knight, Wolters, Giannis, 2nd round pick
    SG: Wiggins, Knight, Giannis, trade chip
    SF: Giannis, Middleton, 2nd round pick
    PF: Henson, Giannis (in small ball lineup), 2nd round pick
    C: Sanders, Zaza, Henson, trade chip

    Ilyasova, Radujica, Wolters, 2nd round pick get traded
    PG: Knight, Giannis, Mayo (emergency), 2nd round pick
    SG: Giannis, Mayo, Middleton, trade chip
    SF: Parker, 2a: Giannis, 2b: Middleton (either/or)
    PF: Henson, Parker, Giannis, 2nd round pick
    C: Sanders, Zaza, Henson, trade chip

    this is completely inexact as we have no idea who is going to be willing to trade for what, but im fairly confident Ilyasova’s time in Milwaukee is done and he will get shipped out ASAP, Mayo’s Wolters’ Raduljica’s contracts are all good trade friendly deals.

    Also, the Bradley Center must be renamed to Kohl Center East in an attempt to grab some UW mojo for some home crowd wins. :)

      • because he’s a sellable commodity, and i think backup point guards are a dime a dozen in the NBA….. his selling points being his floor leadership and youth…… its a solid trade chip.

  5. Jeremy, you can at some point shed a little light on any of Exum’s stats? I’ve looked around a lot and only found very small sample sizes of stats. Why is everyone in love with this kid?

    • He’ll immediately be one of the quickest and fastest players in the NBA the moment he gets drafted. Insane size and length for a PG, and still very good size and length for a SG if a team plays him there. Extremely crafty finisher… Tony Parker-like. Not a great shooter yet, but has solid form and range. Projects to be a plus defender.

      Personally, from everything I’ve seen and heard, he reminds me of Brandon Roy, but I think he’d be perfect in Milwaukee with Giannis and Knight. All 3 can handle the ball, and Giannis and Exum are both very willing passers.

  6. Let’s not get Embiid. I’m scared he’s the next Greg Oden. Giannis and Wiggins are too similar. It’s better to have a mix of different weapons to create difficult matchups for other teams. Ergo: Jabari Parker. I also like Parker’s attitude a bit more than Wiggins’. With Knight, Parker, and Giannis, we might be able to lure a good veteran free agent — if not this year, maybe next — and people might have to fear the deer again.

    This is my first ever post. Take it easy on me.

    • yeah I hated the way Jordan an Pippen were so similar in style of play, that was annoying- no one ever

      and not sure what you mean about Wiggins attitude problems. Do you mean his passiveness?

      • Hey Justin,

        Thanks for the reply.

        I see Giannis and Wiggins as super-skinny slashers. Parker is a meatier guy who can play with his back to the basket, as well as a guy who can hit outside shots. So I think Parker brings a different skillset to the table and the other team has to be able to guard both. I’m with you on this though: if Giannis and Wiggins turn out to be Jordan and Pippen, that would be ok with me!

        As far as the attitude, yes, I was referring to the passiveness. But also Parker seems to be more of a vocal leader, which I think we could use. We need some attitude! (BTW, I’m not talking about messing up your thumb in bar fights.) Kevin Durant is a quiet guy and a good leader. If I thought Wiggins was going to be Durant, of course that would be fine. But the next Durant doesn’t come around very often.

        Other users’ comments about Exum are pretty intriguing too. My biggest fear remains that we don’t get a new arena and the Bucks move. That clause about selling the team back to the league in two years makes me nervous. Who knows what the league will be thinking then, especially if the Bucks have two more years of tepid support? And Mallory is — allegedly — a Knicks fan, so I still have a lingering doubt about the commitment to Milwaukee. That’s why I’m feeling risk averse and leaning towards someone who can bring wins and excitement right away. Embiid and Exum are riskier. Even though I’m arguing for Parker, I think Wiggins would bring excitement, and if that puts rear ends in the seats and helps get a new arena built, that’s also worth considering.

  7. You guys are all missing the boat here. Exum is the best pick for the bucks.

    PG Exum
    SG Knight
    SF Giannis
    PF Henson
    C Sanders

    The length and potential of this lineup is much better than any other option. This 5 could develop into a serious threat in the East Brandon Knight is not a point guard Exum is a superstar 6’6″ point guard with ability to facilitate and make players around him get better shots with the quickness to guard a Derrick Rose.


    • I would also be ok with Exum…I wish we could swap our #2 for Orlando’s #4 and #12, but that would hinge on Orlando not taking Exum at 2. It would be great for to pick up that #12, so we get Exum at 2 and a wing scorer at 12. Someone like McDermott or Stauskas, I think that draft has the possibility to be a home run.

      • Why not move back one spot to the #3 if the #10 pick is included? If the 76ers want a specific player bad enough (given he’s not picked #1) perhaps they’re willing to deal the #3 & #10 for the #2 in order to get their guy.

        • If Embiid is off the board with the first pick, then I would love for the Bucks to move back one spot and grab the #10! Not sure if Philly would do it or not?

  8. Did not get my Bench in there

    PG Wolters
    SG Mayo
    SF Middleton
    PF Patric Young Florida 2nd Rd Pick
    C Isaih Austin Baylor 2nd Rd Pick

    Deandre Daniels Uconn 2nd Rd Pick or Russ Smith Louisville

    Bucks would be fun to watch

    • I would be very satisfied with Patric Young as a second rounder. I think he has the potential to be a dominant defensive force if given a chance.

  9. I am back… I was fearing getting the fourth pick and the Lakers getting number 1… with that being said I hope we get the difference maker we need and are able to say fear the deer yet again

  10. Imo you have to take wiggins if he is there. Parker projects to be a great scorer but a bad defender. Wiggins WILL be a great defender with his athleticism and hustle and has the potential to be a great scorer as well. If wiggins is gone I think exum would be the next best fit for the team IF he is what people say he is I like most people have not watched any of his games. I worry about Embiid’s health and he doesnt fit on our roster we have a ton of big guys. So, Wiggins if he is available and exum if not

  11. Haven’t posted on here in a while

    Can I ask would it be too farfetched to believe that the bucks trade 1 or 2 of their 2nd round picks + ilyasova to get back into the first round? I’ve been saying for a while that a team such as Houston (just a suggestion) could really use some spacing with a valuable big man like ilyasova to give dwight more freedom and try to put them over the top

    Also Wiggins or bust in my opinion

    • My buddy and I have been all in on trying to package the second rounders and Ersan to get a second first rounder! I was thinking Chicago at #16 or #19 if they lose out on Love…they need a stretch to play with Rose and Noah.

      Also, I am all in on Embiid…I think he is going to be the best prospect from the last few drafts. Move Sanders to 4, since we are stuck with him, and Giannis at 3…sick length and athleticism. Knight at 1 and Mayo (hopefully gets back to Dallas shape and play) at 2. Decent bench with Middleton, Henson, Wolters, Wright, and another wing with that Bulls pick!

      • The problem with that and all these other hypothetical embiid situation is that sanders henson and embiid cant shoot. along with giannis( a below average 3 pt shooter) we cant space the floor. 2 of the three bigs mentioned above cannot be on the floor together at once there is just absolutely not enough spacing

        • I think Sanders true position and most productive position could be the 4. He has shown, albeit much to our dismay, a love for mid-range jumpers. If he continued his progression in that area, then he would space out the opposing D enough that Embiid could do work and Knight could still drive. Giannis will get better from deep and you hopefully get another shooter to compliment with that second first rounder.

  12. Also, according to reports on recent workout…Embiid is automatic from 15-18ft. He is good face-up, back to the basket (hook is good with both hand), mid-range, and dip shoulder steps toward the hoop.

  13. Im 100% behind Wiggins, Giannis/wiggins
    Sg/sf defence and athletsim along with sanders…. Take right way build through draft dont trade the talent let them develope

  14. I have gone around and around on this “Scenario” so many times!
    It would be at “Best” if the Sixers would trade up to number 2 and give us the 3rd and 10th, But will Never happen. If it did then you get Doug MacDermet (spelled wrong) at 10. At 3 My order to have of the top four picks: Would hope that Parker is there, then Wiggins then Exum then Embiid. Parker would be a great fit and knows Wojo of Marquette. Wiggins has all the Talent but has real small frame. 6-8 200lbs. Try going to the hoop and catching an elbow from Lebron, I don’t know? Emiid reminds me of Andrew Bogut Great whens he’s not hurt all the time. Exum I don’t know much about, But the Lakers love him so he must have potential. That’s how my order goes. I could care less about the rest of our Roster on who stays and who goes.

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  16. I take Wiggins all day we need a 2guard bad pair him with giannis get on on the treadmill and get him serious and draft thanasis with second round best wings in 2 years and would build instant chemistry for a team that needs it and add the right coach we talk in rings baby in 4 to 5 years if we keep bigs