NBA Draft: Who the Bucks will take at #10
The 2011 version of the NBA draft will take place tonight in NY and the Milwaukee Bucks own the #10 and #40 pick. As per usual, there are a handful of names appearing in the tenth slot on mock draft boards across the internet.
After attending several workouts at the Cousin's Center, and listening to scouting director Billy McKinney speak, I offer my best guess as to what the Bucks will do at #10.
Let me caveat by saying I believe with a high degree of certainty that the team is entertaining offers to trade the #10 pick. I also believe that if the Bucks swing a trade, it will be down, and not up. Reports surfaced that the Bucks were interested in trading the #10 pick, and Andrew Bogut to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the #2 pick and another player. I haven't found any merit to that report.
Below are a handful of players who have been linked to the Bucks #10 pick, complete with a brief scouting report:
Alec Burks - 6'6" SG - Colorado (20.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.9 apg)
Burks is a slasher with a high degree of athleticism. He's also a great ball handler who can get to the rim going left or right. He's able to get to the rim, but needs to add some bulk to his 190 pound frame to finish in the NBA. He is more of a scorer than he is a shooter. Words such as "upside" and "potential" follow Burks who is an early entry candidate. Word around the league is that Burks was inconsistent in pre-draft workouts.
What's the knock on Burks? Shooting. Burks was just a 29% shooter from three-point range in college. If his shooting doesn't improve, he'll be seen as a one-dimensional player in the NBA, and easier to defend.
MY TAKE: I don't think Burks is tops on the Bucks draft board. His versatility is impressive, but the Bucks are more in need of a proven shooter than they are a slasher.
Tristan Thompson - 6'9" PF - Texas (13.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg)
Long, lanky, raw. Those are the three words that describe Thompson the best. He can get out and run the floor, but his offensive game needs development. He entered the draft after his freshman season at Texas based on a decent season, and solid NBA potential. Thompson is a lefty who's offensive game is limited to the block. Size and bulk to bang around with other NBA power forwards will be an issue early on.
MY TAKE: I'd be shocked if Thompson were chosen by the Bucks. They chose a similar, and better player in Larry Sanders last year. Thompson is listed as a 6'9" power forward, but his offensive game is limited to the block, thus making him more of a center than a PF who can play the wing. Developing a 19 year old is not what the Bucks want to be involved with at this stage in the game.
Marcus Morris - 6'9" PF - Kansas (17.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
Strong, smart, and more developed than his twin brother Markief. Marcus Morris has an NBA body at 6'9"/230, and has a refined game to go with it. Cut 10 (ok, 15) years off Kurt Thomas, and you have Marcus Morris. He has a reliable 12-15 foot jump shot, and a variety of efficient post moves. He's very strong, both with the ball and in defense on the low block where he plays with high intensity. Morris is by no means a shot blocker, and lacks foot speed to keep up with some of the bouncy forwards in the league.
MY TAKE: I think the Bucks would be comfortable in taking Morris, but don't think he's their top guy. He may not be flashy, but he can step into a rotation and contribute due to his smarts and versatility. A safe pick who will last a decade in the NBA.
Klay Thompson - 6'7" PG/SG - Washington State (21.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg)
All he did was get better year after year at Washington State. A prolific outside shooter at the college level. He is the best pure shooter in the draft and will be able to fill that role immediately in the NBA. Perhaps more important is that he doesn't force shots. In the biggest game of the year on the road against bitter rival Washington, Thompson scored 43 while knocking down 8 three-point shots. Shot 40% from three-point range last season.
He's not as athletic at Steph Curry, but Thompson can also run the point. Don't look for Thompson to enter a dunk contest anytime soon, he's a below the rim player who is best from 15-22 feet away from the rim, but can also lead the break and set up others. Son of former #1 overall pick Mychal Thompson (1978).
MY TAKE: If he's on the board at #10, I think the Bucks will snap him up. They were very impressed with his workout, and love his pedigree having grown up around the game. I think he's a similar player to Carlos Delfino, but a better ball handler. The Bucks need another legitimate threat to camp outside to compliment a driving point guard or low post double team. Thompson will be able to step in to the rotation immediately.
Ultimately, I think the Bucks would be OK taking any one of the guys above, it's just a matter of how the draft board falls. If all players are available at #10, I think the Bucks have them ranked as follows:
1. Klay Thompson
2. Alec Burks
3. Marcus Morris
4. Tristan Thompson