Bucks potential first-round draft pick player capsules
FOX Sports Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Bucks own the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Who will still be on the board and could be a target for the Bucks? We've compiled a list of 11 potential picks (in alphabetical order) with biographical information supplied by STATS.
Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon
Brown excelled at filling the stat sheet during a solid first season at Oregon, averaging 11.3 points while leading the team in rebounding and steals. It was strong enough showing for him to decide to skip his sophomore year and declare for the NBA draft. Brown certainly has a pedigree for success as the son of two college athletes and the brother of a National Junior Olympic girls shot put champion and a four-year player on the Kansas women's basketball team. Oregon coach Dana Altman told NBA.com that he believes the 18-year-old will continue to develop and get stronger. Brown impressed with his ability to attack the rim, solid ballhandling skills and quick first step as a playmaking forward for the Ducks. While he has good touch from mid-range, scouts feel Brown needs to be more consistent with his form to improve from beyond the arc after posting a 29.1 3-point percentage at Oregon. It's also believed that he needs to work on his decision making if he's to continue to play a point-forward role. Brown is considered a capable one-on-one defender who understands how to play defense in a team setting. Because he has the tools to become a valuable role player, Brown is expected to be selected late in the first round.
USA TODAY SportsJames Snook
Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova
Few players helped themselves more in the eyes of NBA scouts with one game than DiVincenzo did with his brilliant performance in Villanova's national championship victory over Michigan in April. The redshirt sophomore scored 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the 79-62 win while showing off his athleticism, explosiveness and ability to play the point. It was uncertain whether DiVincenzo would leave the Wildcats with two years of eligibility remaining, but an outstanding performance in the combine guaranteed he would enter the draft as a likely first-round pick. Despite only starting 10 of 40 games this season for Villanova, DiVincenzo still averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He also shot 48.1 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from 3-point range en route to being named Big East Sixth Man of the Year. If doubts remained whether DiVincenzo was just a one-game wonder, his showing at the combine likely quieted that criticism. He had a combine-best standing vertical lead of 34.5 inches, tied for the top max vertical leap at 42 inches, finished fifth in the agility drill and also looked very comfortable when competing in the five-on-five scrimmages. DiVincenzo is a well-rounded player that is NBA-ready in terms of his shooting, athleticism and toughness, but the team that selects him will have to determine whether he profiles best as a point guard or shooting guard. Still an unsure first-round pick after his national championship performance, DiVincenzo's showing at the combine almost assuredly will be enough to move him into the top 30.
USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan
Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
Holiday should get a hard look from NBA teams based on bloodlines alone, with older brothers Jrue and Justin both established players in the league. He's the smallest of the trio but may be the best pure shooter, connecting on 42.2 percent of his 3-point attempts and 80 percent of his free throws during a three-year stint at UCLA he completed by leading the Pac-12 in scoring (20.3 ppg) as a junior. Holiday should also be a capable defender who combats a lack of height with good length and the tenacious mentality required to be an on-ball disruptor. He'll probably be limited to guarding point guards, however, and will need to improve his ball-handling and decision making to develop into a trustworthy floor general at the next level. Holiday's struggles against pressure were pronounced in his final college game, when he committed 10 turnovers in UCLA's NCAA Tournament loss to St. Bonaventure. Though undersized and still a work in progress in some vital areas, the Los Angeles native has the makeup and shot-making ability to possibly carve out a career similar to Darren Collison, another smallish former Bruin who's had a solid nine-year run since entering the league as a late first-round pick.
USA TODAY SportsStephen Lew
Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland
Following a promising freshman season at Maryland, Huerter put together a stellar sophomore campaign in 2017-18, developing into a likely second-round pick. His draft stock then shot up after an impressive display at the draft combine. Huerter showed off his athleticism in the strength and agility drills, his accuracy in the shooting drills and fared well in a 5-on-5 scrimmage, finishing with nine points, three assists and two rebounds in 25 minutes. Last season for the Terrapins, he averaged 14.8 points, 5 boards and 3.4 assists while shooting 50.3 percent - including 41.7 percent from 3-point range. His 61.6 effective field goal percentage ranked ninth in the nation among guards. Huerter is a deadly shooter who can consistently knock down shots on catch-and-shoots as well as off the dribble. His good size can create mismatch problems for opposing defenses and he moves well with and without the ball. An adept passer, Huerter has a high basketball IQ and good court vision. One of the only red flags when analyzing Huerter's game is his defense. Despite showing outstanding athleticism, he routinely would get beat by his man and was slow to pick up on shifts. His offense, though, is NBA-ready and after an exceptional weekend in Chicago, Huerter not only looks like he'll be drafted in the first round, but he could be picked in the 15-to-20 range.
USA TODAY SportsMitch Stringer
Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky
Kevin Knox isn't the most complete freshman to come out of Kentucky under John Calipari, but NBA teams are excited about his potential. Knox won't turn 19 until August, making him one of the youngest players in the draft. Being so young plausibly contributes to his limited basketball IQ and lack of consistent play, but also suggests he has room to grow in a variety of ways. While his defense and ability to create off the dribble need some work, he's got the skill set to be a prolific scorer off ball screens and in transition. He moves well for his size and as a wing, Knox's height makes him difficult to defend. He tossed up 167 3-pointers last season - the seventh most by a player 6-foot-9 or taller - and is also capable of finishing at the rim. Averaging 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 2017-18, Knox was named to the All-SEC first team and the conference's co-freshman of the year. Scouts have been impressed with his mechanics and the fluidity of his shot, though at times his shot selection has come into question. There were instances when he would simply settle for long jumpers instead of driving. Knox has holes in his game, but teams love his upside and believe his talents are perfectly suited for today's fast-paced, 3-point hoisting NBA. There's a good chance he's a lottery pick and should fall no lower than 20 in the draft.
USA TODAY SportsBen Queen
Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette HS
There may be no player over the past several draft classes who has more questions and uncertainty about his game than Mitchell Robinson. Considered one of the top centers in the 2017 recruiting class after being named a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school in Louisiana, Robinson committed to Western Kentucky only to leave, re-commit and leave again without ever playing a game for the Hilltoppers. Since last fall, he has been training for the draft, but any team hoping to get a look at his skills and what he's been practicing for the past year at May's draft combine was out of luck as he backed out at the last minute. One explanation for skipping the combine is the Lakers have reportedly agreed to draft him with the 25th pick if he's still available. Coming out of high school, scouts were impressed with his overall athleticism and explosiveness. He could not only play physically near the hoop and defend the rim, but also step out and drain a mid-range jumper. However, how he plays in a game with four other teammates and against competition that's above high-school caliber is anyone's guess. There's plenty of risk and mystery surrounding Robinson, but it appears he'll be off the board by 25 - if not sooner.
USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy
It comes as no surprise that Simons is one of the least known players available in this draft since he didn't attend college and instead spent the 2017-18 season at IMG Academy in Florida. Similar to the path that Milwaukee's Thon Maker took to the NBA, Simons is eligible because he will turn 19 before the draft and will have already been out of high school for a year by June. He originally committed to Louisville but decommitted in September in the wake of Rick Pitino's ouster before eventually deciding to go pro. Although Simons remains something of a mystery, he's a very intriguing prospect due to his combination of youth, athleticism and ability to create offense off the dribble. Simons doesn't have prototypical shooting guard size and will need to improve his decision making before he can run an NBA offense. Still, he's an outstanding athlete and profiles as a big-time scorer with good range on his jumper and solid ball-handling skills. As arguably the least NBA-ready player in the draft, Simons isn't going to make much of an impact as a rookie so he can instead focus on adding weight and strength to a very thin frame. There's really no aspect of his game that is terrible, but he's still very raw and will need time to develop in order to reach his full potential. Perhaps the best thing for Simons would be to spend some time in the G League as a rookie where he can mature both physically and mentally. There's little doubt a team will take a chance on Simons in the back half of the first round.
USA TODAY SportsDavid Butler II
Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech
Smith wasn't a top recruit in high school, a three-star player who turned into much more for a Texas Tech team that was ranked as high as sixth in the AP Top 25 and made a run to the Elite Eight. Smith is an elite athlete with incredible hops who made his mark on the defensive end both in terms of keeping his man in front of him and helping away from the ball. He's versatile enough that he can guard at least three positions thanks to his lateral quickness, and he's an excellent rebounder for his size due to his leaping ability. Smith has a high basketball IQ that comes in handy on the offensive end off the ball - he'll cut at the right time and time his jump to help him get putbacks at the rim. He's not a great ball-handler, and this is a key area to watch in terms of his development. If that improves, he'll be able to get to the basket and create his own shot. Without it, he'll likely be limited to a 3-and-D wing. He shot 45 percent from 3-point range in college but only attempted 40 3s, perhaps due to a lack of confidence in what could generously be described as an awkward shooting motion. The mold is impressive with Smith, and there's potential for him to grow into a true two-way player. But there are enough concerns about his offensive upside that Smith figures to go outside the lottery, likely somewhere in the late teens.
USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton
Thomas gave up his final season of eligibility to enter the draft after another season of improvement at Creighton. He averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from 3-point range to earn second team All-Big East honors. Thomas made an even bigger impact on the other end as a lockdown defender, capturing the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award after sharing the honor in 2016-17. He's just the 10th player in Big East history to win the recognition more than once. Thomas isn't the type of player to appear on highlights often or light up the scoreboard, but he's a solid two-way wing with the ability to shut down an opponent, play multiple positions and hit shots from most anywhere on the court. Those players are always in demand in the NBA, even if he's not a pure point guard. There's little doubt that Thomas can play the point and be a solid contributor, but he isn't particularly great at creating shots for others and isn't very aggressive taking the ball to the basket and drawing contact. Any offensive shortcomings can be forgiven because Thomas sets himself apart as a defender. He has excellent length even at 6-foot-3, and is versatile enough to guard NBA point guards and bigger wings. Add to that an intense competitor who is relentless in every facet, and Thomas has all the pieces in place to be a defensive stopper at the next level. Thomas projects as a valuable rotation player and clearly is a first-round pick in a relatively weak guard draft.
USA TODAY SportsVincent Carchietta
Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
After a slow start with Miami, Walker seemed to come of age down the stretch in his freshman season. The 19-year-old felt strong enough about his performance after averaging 14.5 points over his last 17 games that he decided to take his talents to the next level. NBA teams seemed convinced he made the right call at the draft combine as Walker finished in the top 10 in all three speed categories and among the top 15 in the two jumping events. Walker reportedly also shined off the court, performing well in team interviews by all accounts. Scouts believe Walker has the ability to improve his long-range shooting - he shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range in his last 16 games at Miami - by making an adjustment to his form. Walker has solid ballhandling skills, can take defenders off the dribble and also has a solid frame that should be able to handle physical NBA play. However, some feel that he can tend to become disinterested when he doesn't have the ball. Walker may have some work to do defensively as well, as he's perceived to lack intensity and focus at times. Still, Walker appears to have all the tools necessary to succeed, leaving him likely to be selected in the back end of the first round.
USA TODAY SportsMatt Cashore
Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M
Williams made a risky decision to return to Texas A&M despite being projected as a possible top-10 pick after his freshman season. Though an uneven follow-up campaign failed to raise his stock, his combination of athleticism and defensive versatility should still be quite appealing to teams selecting in the late lottery. Despite usually being deployed at power forward in the Aggies' big-heavy lineup, the Louisiana native is in many ways a prototypical modern NBA center. Sporting an impressive 7-foot-5 wingspan, Williams is capable of altering shots, consistently crashing the glass and switching out to guard the perimeter due to his excellent length, agility and explosiveness. Offensively, he's a potential asset as a pick-and-roll finisher but was never an elite scorer at the college level, and probably won't be in the pros when matched up more frequently with players he won't have a pronounced physical advantage against. Williams' shooting range remains extremely limited, as evidenced by his 2-for-30 success rate on 3-pointers over his college career, and his assertiveness on the offensive end can be questioned after finishing fourth in scoring as the most talented member of last season's Texas A&M team. Centers that can protect the rim and run the floor still have value in today's NBA, which is why Williams is viewed as a future starter despite his up-and-down tendencies and offensive shortcomings.