As we wake up on the morning that the Bucks will make the second selection in the 2014 draft, tensions are heightening throughout both the team’s front office and its fan base. In a draft that has been hyped for what feels like an eternity, the Bucks have an excellent change to add a franchise-changing player. At one time, there were three – maybe four, depending on who you talked to – of those at the top of the board.
However, Joel Embiid is basically out of consideration at #2 after the recent revelation of a stress fracture in his foot, according to new co-owner Marc Lasry. I have an old adage that applies in this situation: “If you get the chance to take a player who has the same injury that ended Yao Ming and Bill Walton‘s careers, maybe don’t”.
As for the players that the Bucks are more likely to be considering:
During the NCAA tournament, Greg Mason and Mike Gennero provided a great breakdown of the exciting Canuck. I tried to figure out how he measures up against NBA competition and where he fits in with the Bucks. One of his primary knocks is a lack of assertiveness and “killer instinct” on the court, which some fear may limit his ability to take over games. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that concern – I mean, when I was 19 years old I thought Disturbed was awesome and that spending all day playing Madden in my dorm room was a realistic way to make it through college. Now I’ve realized that playing Madden all day is only a viable career choice when you’re really good at breaking it.
At any rate, in much the same way that I got over my fear of talking to girls in college, I think Wiggins can get over any harmful passive tendencies that he has. And who needs a killer instinct when you have a (reportedly) 44-inch vertical?
The question with Parker – widely considered the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft – is what the Bucks can do with him. I figured out that he fits in just fine with other power forwards in the league. He also allegedly tanked his Cleveland workout in an effort to maneuver his way to Milwaukee, which is a sentence I still can’t type without audibly chuckling. But consider that he’s from Chicago and his father’s health concerns – which limit his ability to travel to Jabari’s games – as factors in his preference as well. Milwaukee seems to hold appeal for reasons other than basketball.
Oh, and he confirmed the Bucks’ interest in him during a pre-draft interview, in which he seemed to be genuinely excited that the team was willing to commit to drafting him.
Who doesn’t love a good mystery… player? I like my players as cartoonishly proportioned as possible. One thing to consider with Exum on the board: will the Bucks be influenced by their previous successes drafting international players? All things considered, Ersan Ilyasova has ended up being a pretty good value since he was picked 36th in 2005. We all know how Giannis Antetokounmpo has looked so far – if the Bucks feel that their international scouting is reliable and Exum made a good impression, it wouldn’t be outlandish to think that they could take him at #2 or work out a trade to snag him at 3 or 4.
It sounds like Exum made a good impression pretty much everywhere he worked out, though, so trading down with the intent of snagging him comes with a significant risk.
Look At All These Mock Drafts
There’s no greater American sporting pastime than creating and getting upset at mock drafts. To consolidate all of your draft agonizing into one place, we’ve gathered the most up-to-date mocks we could find:
DraftExpress – Jonathan Givony
CBS Sports – Matt Moore
ESPN (Insider, but everyone can read about picks 1 and 2, which are the ones we care about) – Chad Ford
NBADraft.net – Aran Smith
Yahoo! Sports – Marc Spears
SB Nation – Ricky O’Donnell & Tyler Lashbrook
Upside & Motor – Sam Vecenie
The final count? Six of seven writers predicted that Jabari Parker will be the Bucks’ pick. Only two, Ford and Spears, believe that the Cavaliers will choose Parker, leaving the Bucks to select Wiggins.
The Second Rounders
In addition to the first round pick that we’ve spent so much time debating, the Bucks retain three second round picks – #31, #36, and #48. A mysterious stranger stopped by to talk about who the Bucks could take with those picks based on the team’s workout schedule as well as some… intangibles.
For some good old last-minute predictions, the Bucksketball staff gathered around to talk about wishes, second round picks, and possible trades. Let it be known that Jeremy correctly identified the Bucks’ pick with his “want” last year, so pay close attention to his prediction for this year. He is the Oracle.
And of course, we’ll continue to keep you updated with all of the breaking news as we draw closer to the draft. If watching a man lose his mind live via Twitter is your thing, I’ll be out on assignment covering the draft while Jeremy is out hosting draft parties. Go and hang out with him, but also follow me on Twitter for live updates.
Happy Draft Day, everyone! We’ll see you on the other side.