Pre-combine NBA mock draft roundup: Bucks to go big?
The NBA Draft is roughly five weeks away but we do know one thing — the Milwaukee Bucks will have the No. 17 overall pick.
Well, barring a trade, of course.
With the NBA Combine upon us, we thought it might be a good idea to see who the draft prognosticators have the Bucks selecting in the first round (and in some cases the second round, too).
We’ll look to update these predictions after the combine and see what, if anything, has changed and then again right before the draft, which takes place June 22.
The big question, to me, is what position will Milwaukee look to fill? Some of it might depend on the futures of Greg Monroe and Tony Snell. For now, though, most of the NBA mockers out there see “big” as the key word and have Milwaukee taking a center or forward in the first round.
With all that being said, here’s the first look of NBA mock draft predictions for the Bucks:
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (May 10): Justin Patton, C, Creighton, FR. “Patton is an athletic, well-rounded 7-footer who fueled the Jays’ surprising start and played well enough over the course of the year to establish himself as a clear first-rounder. But he’s been too passive at times, and wore down over the course of the season.”
Kurt Helin and Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com (May 10): Justin Patton, C, Creighton, FR. “A lot of potential, he’s a 7-footer with length, can shoot some but needs shots created for him, and defensive tools needs work.”
Paul Banks of the Washington Times and David Kay of The Sports Bank via WalterFootball.com (May 9): Round 1 — OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana, SO. “Anunoby possesses the ideal length and athleticism for the next level, but suffered a season-ending knee injury that cut short his sophomore campaign. The Bucks love lengthy, athletic frontcourt players, and with Jabari Parker suffering another season-ending injury, the team could use options at forward.”; Round 2 — Nigel Williams-Goss, PG, Gonzaga, JR.
NBADraft.net (May 9): Round 1 — Ivan Rabb, PF/C, California, SO; Round 2 — Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso, SR.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com (May 8): Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville, SO. “Mitchell had a breakout season and averaged 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for a Louisville team that won 25 games. He’s an undersized but strong shooting guard with above-average athleticism who could fit nicely next to Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.”
Daniel O’Brien of FanRagSports (May 8): John Collins, PF, Wake Forest, SO. “Collins is a strong, bouncy 4-man who enjoyed a breakout sophomore year at Wake Forest. The 6-10 pogo stick reaped the rewards from improved rebounding, pick-and-roll finishing and low-post skills. He overwhelmed ACC and NCAA challengers to the tune of 28.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per 40 minutes. Kidd will make immediate use of Collins in jumbo lineup scenarios. He’ll fit as the 4 next to centers Greg Monroe and Thon Maker and all-purpose small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation (May 8): Luke Kennard, SG, Duke, SO. “Kennard is one of the craftiest scorers in this draft class. He made 43.8 percent of his threes as a sophomore at Duke and also finished the year with an astronomical 62.9 true shooting percentage. He’d be a weapon when defenses collapse on Giannis in Milwaukee.”
Connor Riley of SEC Country (May 8): Round 1 — Terrance Ferguson, SG, Australia, INT; Round 2 — Edmond Sumner, PG, Xavier, SO.
Steven Petrella of Land of 10 (May 8): Round 1 — Jarrett Allen, C, Texas, FR; Round 2 — Dillon Brooks, SF, Oregon, JR.
DraftExpress (May 4): Round 1 — Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA, FR. “Ike Anigbogu was slightly overshadowed by fellow freshmen Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf when talking about UCLA’s drastic turnaround this season, struggling with minor injuries throughout the year, and averaging a modest 4.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 13 minutes off the bench for the Bruins. Nevertheless, Anigbogu provided a dynamic that Steve Alford and the Bruins were lacking, despite being one of the youngest players in all of college basketball, and played a role that is highly sought after for big men in today’s NBA.”; Round 2 — Monte Morris, SG, Iowa State, SR.
Howard Megdal of CBSSports.com (May 3): Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU, JR. “Versatile player who will allow Giannis to focus on the things he does best when the two play together.”
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (May 3): OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana, SO. ” OG Anunoby fits the description of a typical Milwaukee Bucks pick. General manager John Hammond hasn’t shied away from drafting prospects with little production to show for their potential. Just like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker did, Anunoby should sell the Bucks this late with his athleticism, his length and his room to improve. His medicals will have to check out—Anunoby is still recovering from a season-ending knee injury and won’t be ready to play at the combine. But assuming doctors expect a full recovery, the Bucks could fall for Anunoby, whose quickness, bounce and wingspan create sky-high defensive upside.”
MyNBADraft.com (May 3): Round 1 — John Collins, PF, Wake Forest, SO; Round 2 — Mathias Lessort, SF/PF, France, INT.
Tankathon.com (May 2): Jarrett Allen, C, Texas, FR.
Hoops Hype (April 24): Luke Kennard, SG, Duke, SO. “This may be a little high for Kennard as he lacks ideal size for a wing and isn’t a high-level defender or athlete. But he’s an absolute natural with his ball skills and ability to shoot. He’s an excellent passer, and actually an underrated athlete. He surprised a lot of people by taking over the team from Grayson Allen in the early part of the year, but in reality Kennard was the better high school player and some expected it to happen a year earlier. Kennard is such a high-level shooter, he should find a place in the league as a floor spreader, specialty shooter for years to come.”
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, 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
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