Bucks post-NBA combine mock draft roundup
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Milwaukee Bucks will be picking at No. 17 in the NBA draft.
The Bucks selected in that spot in 2017 and 2015.
This year will be a little different, as Milwaukee has a different look at general manager (Jon Horst) and head coach (Mike Budenholzer). Yes, Horst was hired as GM by the Bucks before last year’s draft — but just a week before. What kind of player Budenholzer would like to have could well be different than what Jason Kidd wanted.
Regardless, at No. 17 you’re past the lottery picks and hoping to find some value. There’s also a lot of options to consider compared to, say being in the top 10.
With the NBA combine being held last week, there’s always a little moving and shaking among draft prospects. Who should you have on the radar?
There’s definitely no consensus on the player Milwaukee could select, but there’s also differentiating opinion on what position.
Most mockers think the Bucks will go with a shooting guard, but there are several others who see Milwaukee choosing a center. (There’s even some you foresee a forward. So, yup, it’s all over the place.)
With the draft just less than a month away (June 21), here’s a look at mock drafts from all around the web. (Note: We’ll be back with another look right before the draft to see how (if) things have changed.)
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com: Troy Brown, SG, Oregon. “Brown developed a reputation in high school as somebody who values defense and could reasonably play at least three positions at the collegiate level, and he showed flashes of that at Oregon. The 6-7 freshman averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.5 minutes per game. If he can develop a consistent 3-point shot — Brown only shot 29.1 percent from beyond the arc this season — he’ll be capable of providing the versatility NBA franchises crave while flourishing at both forward positions.”
Reid Forgrave of CBSSports.com: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA. “Holiday is an explosive scorer. He may only be 6-1, but his incredibly long wingspan makes him an excellent perimeter defender. For a win-now team, this upperclassman with NBA pedigree feels like a great fit.”
Jeremy Woo of SI.com: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech. “The Bucks have been no stranger to big swings in the past, and Smith would qualify. Viewed as of the draft’s bigger home-run swings, he’s a jaw-dropping athlete without much of a résumé, nor much feel for creating his own offense on the perimeter. He certainly passes the eye test, and has gone from unknown prospect to a virtual lock somewhere in the first round. He could become a high-flying two-way contributor, or he could flame out quickly, and whoever drafts him will need to be patient. It’s worth considering he measured at just under 6’3″ in shoes at the combine, which makes him much harder to picture playing as a small forward and adds a wrinkle.”
USAToday’s Jeff Zillgitt, Sam Amick and Michael Singer: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School. “The NBA combine will be the first look teams get at Robinson in months after he de-enrolled from Western Kentucky before the start of last season. He’s extremely athletic and has the ability to stretch the floor for a big man, but team interviews will be essential for Robinson as teams try to get a read on him. If Robinson develops, he and Giannis Antetokounmpo could be an athletic terror.”
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M: “Williams has terrific physical tools, a 7-footer with a 7-6 wingspan and good defensive instincts — good enough that he could land in the lottery. But there are work ethic questions, and Williams didn’t significantly improve between his freshman and sophomore seasons. The Bucks would welcome some size up front, and they have never been afraid of taking on a project-type player.”
Scott Bordow of AZCentral Sports: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School. “Robinson is a man of mystery after not playing college ball but the Bucks need an athletic big man, and Robinson was the No. 1 center in the 2017 recruiting class. He has a long ways to go but could contribute immediately on the defensive end as a rebounder and rim protector.”
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA.
David Kay of WalterFootball.com: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.
NBADraft.net: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton.
Hoops Hype: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton. “With a team looking to take the next step from playoff participant to legitimate title contender, Thomas figures to be one of the more NBA ready prospects available. He is older in comparison to other prospects available, which could work in his favor for some teams. While 17 may be a bit of a reach for him, his ability to defend and potential to come in and contribute on both ends works well for a team like Milwaukee looking for immediate help. Thomas’ 8’5 standing reach dispelled the notion that he’s an undersized 2-guard.”
Connor Riley of SEC Country: Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech.
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.
The Ringer: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State.
Tankathon: Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy.
MyNBADraft.com: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.
NBA Draft Room: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M.
Paul Banks of The Sports Bank: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.
Wayne Staats of Land of 10: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.
Nick Ashooh of NBC Sports Washington: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech.
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns