Leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft – in the last week now — we are going to preview each team in the lottery for their needs. Taking a look at the teams individual strengths, weaknesses, roster, and what prospects would fit in with the current and future plans.
Hey, Milwaukee Bucks fans, you just finished with the worst record in franchise history with fewer wins in 82 games than the Seattle Seahawks had in 19 games played. You also have a roster filled with little hope. What did you win? The second pick a much-hyped draft that could potentially change your stars. You’re welcome.
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Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: 2014-2015 Potential Roster Review
The team basically returns the same roster that won 15 games last year outside of the Ramon Sessions/Luke Ridnour combination at back-up point guard and some miscellaneous pieces making minimum salaries. They need to get second round success story Nate Wolters under contract as he was one of very few pleasant surprises for the team during their worst season ever. The most used lineup last year was Wolters, Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, Ersan Ilyasova, and Zaza Pachulia. They will all be back with Larry Sanders in the fold so they do get a touch deeper, more athletic, and potentially better. With John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the rotation as well this is a long, young athletic core of players with upside, just not a lot of NBA skill at this stage. How much better will they be with a rookie and Sanders back in the fold? Well, Sanders average Win Share is about 2.2 and on average the No. 2 Overall pick nets about 2.3 wins in their rookie year. Same time next year, Milwaukee?
TWO: Biggest Strengths
Other than youth and athleticism there is not much to smile about here. Look below at the weaknesses for that. They have athleticism with Sanders, Giannis, and Henson, but lack a lot of skill across the board. This is a very young team with a lot of upside once they can establish an identity for themselves and a player to build around. For the most part they have the role players in place waiting for someone to swoop in and take the reigns going forward. The team feels they have a special player in Giannis to build off of as he develops more of his game. The same can be said for Sanders and Henson to a lesser degree as athletic, defensive-oriented big men.
THREE: Biggest Weaknesses
This was a bad team all-around last year. They were in the bottom third of the league in nearly every statistical metric outside of offensive rebounding (8th), team assists (17th), and blocks (11th). Overall, not a very good team hence the 15 wins and hope for a high draft pick. Not all their problems are solved with a single selection, but they could use an offensive player to score more efficiently and give this team an identity. There is no question this team has athleticism for days, but they need to add more skill to be able to compete at the NBA level.
FOUR: Odds In The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
Sure they had a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery, but a 75 percent chance of not winning, which is exactly what happened. With 21.5 percent odds for the No. 2 overall pick the Bucks slid down one slot, put all the pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and can sit back to clean up any mess they make ahead of them.
FIVE: Recent History of the No. 2 Pick
There is no downside to drafting No. 2 overall unless it is a one player draft, which has happened literally zero times in the history of the NBA. There is always a consolation prize in the form of Victor Oladipo, Evan Turner, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, or Deron Williams here. Going deeper into history there have been greats that fell from being the top pick, landed in a better situation, and had Hall of Fame careers. Isiah Thomas (1981), Gary Payton (1990), Jason Kidd (1994), and most recently Durant (2007) just to name a few.
Five Prospects That Make Sense For The Milwaukee Bucks At No. 2 Overall
1. Andrew Wiggins: 6-8, 200 pounds – G/F, Kansas
Stats: (In 32.8 MPG) 17.1 PPG 5.9 RPG 34.1 percent 3PT
This would give them freakish length with Wiggins-Giannis-Henson-Sanders potentially paying together and becoming a formidable defensive force. Wiggins has the potential to be an eraser on the defensive end and develop his offensive game slowly. He continues the identity of length, defensive potential, and athleticism that this team has been creating.
2. Jabari Parker: 6-8, 235 pounds – F, Duke
Stats: (In 30.7 MPG) 19.1 PPG 8.7 RPG 35.8 percent 3PT
The second ranked prospect is the best fit for the team with the No. 2 overall pick. Parker is not the elite athlete or defender that Wiggins is, but he can fit in-between all the athletes they have as the go-to scorer with his diverse ability to score. Parker can get buckets from everywhere on the court and would be the team’s top option from day one.
3. Joel Embiid: 7-0, 250 pounds – C, Kansas
Stats: (In 23.1 MPG) 11.2 PPG 8.1 RPG 2.6 BPG 62.6 percent FG
Sure the team has Sanders already and he has proven to be an exciting young big man, but he has also made questionable decisions off the court and might not be a cornerstone defensive building block. Embiid is a cornerstone when healthy as a big man who can impact the game on both ends. He steadily got better game-by-game in college and is just scratching the surface of his game.
4. Noah Vonleh: 6-9.75, 247 pounds – PF Indiana
Stats: (In 26.5 MPG) 11.3 PPG 9.0 RPG 52.3 percent FG
After the Big Three everyone is a reach. Vonleh is the most intriguing reach here as a four man that is long, athletic, defensive oriented, and could develop into a primary scoring option. He has the build of a Chris Bosh coming out of high school, only with 20-plus pounds of muscle.
5. Julius Randle: 6-9, 250 pounds – PF, Kentucky
Stats: (In 30.8 MPG) 15.0 PPG 10.4 RPG 50.1 percent FG
This is another reach for a terrific athlete who will be a double-double machine and face-up scorer able to create mismatches. If the Bucks trade down, Randle fits in well despite his defensive inefficiencies with his upside as a rebounder and high post scorer.
Then you are drafting No. 2 overall you do not reach and you simply take the guy that is ranked the highest internally. Whether that is Wiggins, Parker, Embiid or someone else, the Bucks need star power and someone to give the fan base hope. With a new owner and coach, the Bucks are trying to improve on the NBA’s worst record last season.
What do you think?
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