Milwaukee Bucks 2019 NBA mock draft roundup
When you have the best record in the NBA it also means that you get the last pick in the first round of the draft. Thus, the Milwaukee Bucks will be picking No. 30 on Thursday.
That is, if they keep the pick.
There have been reports that Milwaukee could try and use its first-round pick as a sweetener to get a team to take the contract of Tony Snell or Ersan Ilyasova off its hands (and thus open up some salary-cap room). General manager Jon Horst talked to the media Wednesday and, of course, left open nearly every possibility – trading the pick, trading down, selecting a player to stash or selecting a player who best fits the team right now.
All we have to go on, though, is that the Bucks do hold that No. 30 overall selection (Milwaukee traded its own second-round pick as compensation for Jason Kidd and another, acquired from Denver for Roy Hibbert, was sent to New Orleans in the Nikola Mirotic trade) and we’ll presume they stay there.
So, who will the Bucks select in the first round?
There is no consensus among mock drafters. We’ve found 15 different players prognosticated to Milwaukee, although a few players stood out more than others (how do you feel about a shooter from Belmont or a big man from Maryland?).
Without further ado, here’s who the mock drafters from around the web think the Bucks will take in the first round of the NBA draft:
Jeremy Woo of SI.com: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland. “Fernando is jockeying for position in a tier of bigs that includes Mfiondu Kabengele and Nic Claxton. Fernando has fans around the league and could feasibly land in the teens, but it’s also possible he falls toward the back of the first round. He was invited Tuesday to attend the draft in the green room, which certainly bodes well, too. He’s coming off a strong season at Maryland and continues to make individual strides, with solid physical tools and productive play backing up his case this high. While his ceiling isn’t extremely high, the fact he plays hard consistently creates some degree of floor. The Bucks may lose out on Brook Lopez in free agency, and Fernando would offer solid value here, if he shot continues to evolve out to the NBA three-point line. At a minimum, Fernando can physically compete right away.”
Jeff Goodman of Stadium: Naz Reid, PF, LSU. “The Bucks could use another big man who can step out and shoot it from long range. Reid is incredibly skilled for someone his size. He needs to work on his decision-making, but he’s worth the risk for Milwaukee and Jon Horst.”
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic ($): Carsen Edwards, PG/SG, Purdue. “The Bucks are likely going to lose a good backcourt player in George Hill who could knock down shots from the perimeter. So it would behoove them to take someone with the same skill. Enter Edwards, who I think is one of the absolute best shooters in the draft. He’d fit perfectly next to Giannis Antetokounmpo running off of screens and dribble hand-offs, creating a sense of gravity and a threat to pull up all over the floor. That’s an immensely translatable skill, particularly for a team that often runs its offense through a big initiator like Milwaukee.”
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation: Carsen Edwards, SG, Purdue. “Edwards was expected to be one of the best players in the country this season as a junior point guard for Purdue. It felt like he wasn’t getting enough help from his teammates for most of the season, as he put up big scoring numbers (24 points per game) on poor efficiency (39 percent shooting from the field). The whole country got to see what Edwards was all about in the NCAA tournament, when he popped off for 42 points two different times during Purdue’s run to the Elite Eight. Edwards measured at just 6-foot in shoes at the combine, but he has long arms (6’6 wingspan) and he’s one of the best shooters in this draft.”
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com: Dylan Windler, SG, Belmont. “The 10th-best Player Efficiency Rating in college basketball this past season belonged to Windler — who consistently scored big, and from all levels, for Belmont. Milwaukee is built to win right now. Windler is an older prospect who could help in the Bucks’ pursuit of a title next season.”
Reid Forgrave of CBSSports.com: Dylan Windler, SG, Belmont. “Behold, a statistical look at Windler’s progression as a 3-point shooter the past three seasons: 39.8% on 3.1 attempts per game as a sophomore, 42.6% on 4.9 attempts per game as a junior, 42.9% on 7.1 attempts per game as a senior. Windler is an absolute gunner, a great rebounder for a guard and a smart player in transition. There’s a bit of JJ Redick in the best version of his game. He’d fit in perfectly for what the Bucks are trying to do in spacing the floor around Giannis.”
Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland.
Kyle Boone of CBSSports.com: Carsen Edwards, PG/SG, Purdue. “Mike Budenholzer’s spread system aimed to perfectly complement Giannis Antetokounmpo fits best when he’s got shooters around him. So with Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton‘s contracts up this offseason, Edwards and his versatile scoring ability sprinting off screens and off hand offs would be a prudent hedge against a worst-case scenario if the Bucks can’t retain the core of their roster.”
The Ringer: Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: Luka Samanic, Olimpia Ljubljana. “Samanic wants to make the jump to the NBA this season, but will need time to fill out and develop. He has intriguing talent for a team willing to be patient and the Bucks can afford to give hm the time he’ll need.”
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland.
Tom Westerholm of masslive.com: Luka Samanic, PF, Olimpia Ljubljana. “At 6-foot-11, Samanic can do a lot of things the NBA requires of its modern big men, and the Bucks might lose Brook Lopez this offseason. Samanic can’t replace everything Lopez did, but he’s not a bad addition.”
Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian: Dylan Windler, SG/SF, Belmont. “Some scouts say the 6-8 Windler is the best three-point shooter in the draft after he made 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and is a career 54.9 percent shooter overall during his four seasons. The senior averaged 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in 33.2 minutes per game during the season and helped himself with good defense.”
Chris Stone of the Sporting News: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee. “Williams is a prospect that I believe in more than the NBA, and I’d view him slipping to Milwaukee at No. 30 as a mistake. However, the Bucks should be ecstatic if they can land the Tennessee product here. Williams combines physical strength and basketball IQ in a way that few prospects do. He should be effective as a short-roll playmaker, but he will need to find a way to fit in defensively given he may have trouble on the perimeter.”
Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports: Nic Claxton, PF, Georgia. “Claxton was a solid contributor for coach Tom Crean and the Bulldogs, averaging 13 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The sophomore was one of the most improved players in the SEC, and his ceiling is high. The Bucks can afford to be patient and help mold him while he works with one of the best in the league on a daily basis in Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
NBADraft.net: Kevin Porter, SG/SF, USC.
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina. “After shooting 45.7 percent from three in his senior season, Johnson comes off as an NBA-ready shot-maker. Already 23 years old, his upside is limited, but his floor is high based on his speciality skill and value tied to it.”
Drafttek: Kevin Porter, SG, USC.
Liam McKeone of The Big Lead: Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State. “It wouldn’t be a shock if you haven’t heard of this guy, but he played for two years at Florida State and showed potential. He’s made his way up draft boards recently with impressive workouts and lives up to his billing as Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew with a natural feel for protecting the paint, and flashed potential as a decent spot-up shooter. The Bucks may lose Brook Lopez in free agency, and it will take Kabengele years to get to where Lopez is now, but he’ll be able to make an impact immediately on the defensive side of things with his instincts and athleticism.”
NBADraftRoom.com: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee.
Chris Grenham of NESN: Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont. “Windler is a great shooter who could fall into the early second round, but if a team utilizes him correctly, he’ll be extremely useful for any organization’s perimeter depth.”
Zach Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media: Grant Williams, PF/C, Tennessee. “The Bucks lack depth in the frontcourt and have a few key players set to hit free agency. Williams is more of a small-ball five but he can do a little bit of everything and fits well in a lineup with Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Dylan Windler, SF/SG, Belmont.
Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer: KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford.
Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Eric Paschall, SF, Villanova.
Jeff Reynolds of Field Level Media: Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State. “Brook Lopez could be lured away in free agency, and Kabengele is not the same type of player, but he’s an energy-and-effort, athletic big man who can mop up misses and operate the pick-and-roll.”
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel: Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State.
Alex Butler of UPI: KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford.
Brad Rowland of UPROXX/Dime Magazine: Ty Jerome, SG/PG, Virginia. “If the Bucks re-sign Malcolm Brogdon to a lucrative contract, this pick would make less sense. Still, George Hill is also a free agent and having a plethora of skilled, intelligent guards isn’t a bad thing. Jerome isn’t a first-rounder in terms of athleticism, but he’s a three-point marksman, feels the game at a high level and guards proficiently at multiple spots. He’s certainly a prospect that would fit under Mike Budenholzer’s leadership.”
David Kay of WalterFootball.com: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland. “With a good combination of athleticism and strength, Fernando brings energy to the floor, especially around the rim. The Bucks who could use depth inside since Brook Lopez is a free agent and they traded John Henson and Thon Maker during the season.”
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports: Eric Paschall, SF, Villanova.
Chris Fedor of cleveland.com: KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford. “Depending on what happens with the Bucks in free agency, they may not have much room for an incoming prospect. So why not seek upside? Okpala will be 20 this season and is still raw in numerous areas. But in his breakout season, Okpala showed potential as a slasher and outside shooter. Drafting him would give the Bucks another player worth developing, similar to Donte DiVincenzo, last year’s first-round selection. Or a trade chip in a quest to improve after losing to the Raptors in the conference finals.”
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: Admiral Schofield, SG/SF, Tennessee.
Dylan Windler – 5
Bruno Fernando – 4
KZ Okpala – 4
Carsen Edwards – 3
Mfiondu Kabengele – 3
Eric Paschall – 3
Grant Williams – 3
Ty Jerome – 2
Kevin Porter – 2
Luka Samanic – 2