The Bucks only had a 1.1 percent chance at the number-one pick when they went into the draft lottery, so it's no surprise they're in the ten spot. Even with their atrocious offense, the Bucks were only two games away from making the playoffs for a second consecutive year thanks to Coach Scott Skiles' defensive priorities. Assuming Skiles doesn't burn the team out, like he did in Chicago and Phoenix, the Bucks will be one of the league's best defensive teams again in 2012 (or whenever the next season actually happens).
Picking at number ten may turn out to be a no man's land since this draft has been compared to the 2000 draft, which gave us Kenyon Martin as the first overall pick. Ouch. With Skiles' ability to turn seemingly anyone into a passable NBA defender, however, the Bucks can focus on their biggest need: scoring.
A pure scorer who would create a major buzz throughout both the city and the league is Jimmer Fredette. The Bucks, however, are looking to keep Brandon Jennings at the point and Fredette doesn't seem to want to play behind Jennings. Fredette went so far as to refuse to work out for the Bucks in the weeks preceding the draft. That's too bad considering the almost comical amount of shots that a small-ball back court of Jennings and Fredette would be putting up. The Bucks have also proven they have a very good marketing team and they would have a field day with "Jimmertime" and "Jimmermania." Fredette might be the only player in this draft who will immediately increase attendance in any of the handful of places he's projected to go; if Milwaukee were added to that mix, they would see a similar attendance jump.
Without Fredette, other guard options for the Bucks are Klay Thompson and Alec Burks. I didn't see Burks much at Colorado, but scoring over 20 ppg is certainly eye opening and his athleticism could leave him with solid minutes alongside Jennings when Salmons is resting. Thompson, on the other hand, is almost as dead-eye from three as Fredette is. Burks is still the most athletic of the three guards, but Thompson can hold his own. Both are likely picks for the Bucks and will probably be available, at least as the draft order stands now.
Two other players the Bucks may be considering are a pair of European forwards: Jan Vesley and Jonas Valunciaus. Valunciaus only recently became an option for the Bucks when ESPN reported that he may not be able to be bought out from his Lithuanian Euroleague team for another year. When it was assumed he would be available for the 2011-12 season, Valunciaus was considered a top-five pick thanks, in part, to this being such a weak draft. But Valunciaus does have potential for a team that can afford to wait a year for him, and considering the log jam the Bucks have at the power forward, drafting Valunciaus now might be a relatively smart move in the long run.
Vesley, like most young Euroleague players, is only a role player on his current team. In the minutes he does get though, Vesley plays like a man possessed. He's a high energy PF/C that could help the Bucks with one of their weakest spots: scoring at the rim. Vesley might be the best European dunker the NBA has seen, and has range all the way behind the three-point line (Vesley shot a career-high 46 percent for three-pointers last season). Vesley might be the best fit for the Bucks right now since he can play at PF while still backing up the oft-successful but also oft-injured Andrew Bogut, but in a draft this weak, both the Toronto Raptors at number five and the Washington Wizards at number six have shown a lot of interest in Vesley. It doesn't appear he'll be available for the Bucks at ten.
All four - Burks, Thompson, Valunciaus and Vesley - could be potential targets for the Bucks and realistically, three of them could still be available at pick ten. Considering the mass of forwards the Bucks currently have, they will probably go for one of the pure shooting guards that should be waiting for them. Ultimately, Skiles will be attracted to the versatility and basketball IQ of Klay Thompson. Thompson is, in theory, a great foil for Jennings to slash-and-kick to, especially if Jennings continues to improve at the rim. Assuming the more unpredictable GMs shy away from trading their picks (I'm looking at you, David Kahn), Thompson will be a better fit for the Bucks and should still be available when they get their chance to pick tomorrow night.
Alex is a student at UW-Milwauee and lives on Milwaukee's East Side. When he's not working at OnMilwaukee.com, he writes for the UWM Post sports section and plays devil's advocate to a fault in conversation.
Alex strongly believes that if the reason not to change is, "because we've always done it this way," then change is almost certainly necessary.
In Alex' free time he enjoys catching a movie at the Oriental or iPic, video games, creating arbitrary top-five lists, lobbying President Obama to follow-back via Twitter, messing with Chairman Meow (the resident apartment cat) and continuing his crusade to have Yuengling Lager brought to Wisconsin.
After graduating with degrees in marketing and journalism, Alex plans to continue writing and enjoying all of the adventures that life has to offer. If you see him around, stop and say "malarkey," as he never expects anyone to read these bios ... so he'll probably be surprised.