Bucks keeping 'options open' with No. 2 pick
JUN 24, 2014 5:00p ET
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- After months of speculation and intrigue, the Milwaukee Bucks are just two days away from making one of the biggest decisions in franchise history when they pick No. 2 overall in Thursday's NBA Draft.
Although many are of the belief Milwaukee's decision will come down to either Duke forward Jabari Parker or Kansas guard/forward Andrew Wiggins, Bucks general manager John Hammond isn't willing to go as far as saying that quite yet.
"I don't think it is fair to say that right now," Hammond said Tuesday. "I still think we need to keep all of our options open. I think this is more than a two-man draft. They talked about this being a three-man draft before Joel (Embiid) got hurt -- it was more than a three-man draft at that time and I think it is more than a two-man draft today."
A day after Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry revealed at a speaking engagement that the team won't take Embiid, who is expected to miss six-to-eight months after having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, Hammond was not as definitive.
"I think it would behoove a team to take him and store him away, but I'm sure there is some concern about his health," Hammond said. "I don't expect Joel to fall too far in this draft. I think he's a guy we need to have on our board to a certain extent. He's a great talent. Three to five years from now, who is going to be the best player in this draft? Time will tell. He still has to be in that discussion.
"I think he's tempting for anyone in this draft, including us."
Hammond said the interest level from other teams trying to acquire the No. 2 pick from the Bucks has been "significant" but didn't seem too motivated to move out of the second slot.
"It would take something very special," Hammond said. "We're open to listening and discussing ideas, but right now we are at two and we like being at two."
With three second-round picks, the Bucks could have the opportunity to put together a package to move up into the mid-to-late first round Thursday, an intriguing possibility in a draft considered deep by most experts.
Hammond indicated Tuesday that his phone lines have been very active over the past few days.
"We'll have discussions with teams, we're having discussions with teams right now," Hammond said. "I wouldn't rule (the possibility of acquiring an additional first-round pick) out."
Milwaukee's decision could simply come down to picking the player Cleveland doesn't decided to go with at No. 1. Nonetheless, Hammond is confident the Bucks are going to get an impact player, be it Parker, Wiggins or even Australian point guard Dante Exum.
"All great guys, all guys who could be building block pieces for a championship-caliber team," Hammond said. "I think all of them have a chance to be very special players in this league, potential All-Stars. You hate to use words like 'can't-miss guys' but they are guys you feel very comfortable and safe with in drafting."
Still growing: If the height and weight Hammond let out is correct, Giannis Antetokounmpo has grown two inches and put on over 20 pounds since he first came to the Bucks last fall.
When talking about Antetokounmpo on Tuesday, Hammond said the 19-year-old is 6-foot-11 and 217 pounds. The Bucks listed the Greek forward at 6-foot-9 and 205 pounds last season, but Hammond estimated he was 190 pounds when he arrived in Milwaukee last September.
"I think Giannis is a guy that is going to be able to play, at his size, he's going to be able to play some small forward and he's going to play some power forward someday," Hammond said.
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