A lot can change in the NBA standings after the All-Star Break, but it’s relatively safe to assume the reigning champions in the Milwaukee Bucks will earn a good playoff seed and will be drafting towards the end of the first round come the 2022 NBA Draft.
With the college basketball season in full swing, prospects are showing their capabilities with some flying up the draft boards and some falling. Milwaukee is in an interesting predicament with three stars signed to massive deals for the foreseeable future, so free agency flexibility won’t come easy. Due to this, the Milwaukee front office must ace their draft picks to continue their streak of winning seasons, highlighting by this site. It’s important to note that Milwaukee does not have their own second round pick this upcoming draft.
A few backcourt options for the Bucks to consider include Trevor Keels from Duke, Blake Wesley from Notre Dame, and Kennedy Chandler from Tennessee.
Keels has all the tools to be a true offensive weapon. First off, although likely being one of the youngest players in the entire draft should he declare, Keels already has the body and physicality to make it in the NBA. Milwaukee can only further develop this (see the work done with Giannis Antetokounmpo) which is a scary thought. If Milwaukee is looking for quick points off the bench and solid defense – Keels is their man.
Wesley looks to be primarily a scorer, which of course is always a useful asset. He can penetrate and attack the lane at a high level, but still needs to work on his outside shot. For now he’s not seen as much of a facilitator, but he’s still a young prospect.
Chandler is a high-energy guard who can live up to feature as Jrue Holiday’s primary back-up. He’s super quick and athletic, which allows him to drive with ease. Out of all the guards mentioned, Chandler is by far the best playmaker. Development will take time, but he’s a good fit especially with the older George Hill on Milwaukee’s roster.
The injury to Brook Lopez showed a need for frontcourt depth in Milwaukee. In addition, the team traded for Serge Ibaka, but he will hit free agency this offseason. Two prospects to keep an eye out include Mark Williams from Duke and E.J. Liddell from Ohio State.
Williams features as a defender and rebounder for his star-studded Duke team. He knows his role and does it well. This translates well for Milwaukee, as Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis can do enough damage offensively as the team’s two big men. Williams can contribute offensively if he’s fed around the rim, but he’s more than happy to collect rebounds and block shots.
Liddell is more of an offensive weapon – he’s averaging nearly 20 points per game for Ohio State this season. His offensive game is dynamic as he can live in the low post but also has an outside shoot. The ability to spread the floor is extremely valued in the modern NBA, so Liddell is going to be a hot prospect. In addition, he’s also a solid defender, but a smaller forward compared to the seven-foot Williams from Duke.
Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Images