Friday, June 26, 2009

Win Eventually

The draft is done and it looks like the Milwaukee Bucks are content with the players they drafted. With their 1st Round selection the Bucks drafted point guard Brandon Jennings, a former top-rated high school player who, rather than play a year in college, spent last season struggling to find playing time in Europe.

What does this pick mean? Jennings is widely considered the most boom or bust prospect in this year's draft. The upside is certainly there but the upside was also there for Sebastian Telfair and Shaun Livingston. For the 2009-10 Bucks this pick really doesn't mean a whole lot.

Let's elaborate on that point, Jennings is a project pick. He's 19 years old and wasn't able to garner significant playing time in his season in Europe. As far as next season goes he'll probably play sparingly off the bench behind Luke Ridnour and, if he's resigned, Ramon Sessions.

As far is his game goes, Jennings is lightning fast and is suited to an up-tempo style of play. To be successful in the NBA he'll have to develop a jumpshot though. Right now his strength as a scorer is not as a shooter and he isn't much of a three-point threat.

Jennings could be a significant player in the future for Milwaukee, maybe two or three seasons down the road. He could also be a wasted draft pick. When I looked at this springs draft class there was one player I didn't want to see drafted by the Bucks and that was Brandon Jennings.

As far as there second round choice, no complaints there. Jodie Meeks, a shooting guard out of Kentucky, provides a solid player to come off the bench and supply some relief to Michael Redd. This pick adds some much needed depth to the backcourt, specifically shooting guard.

So far the Bucks have done very little to make themselves a better team next season. Trading Richard Jefferson made them worse, drafting a project in the first round does not make them better. If Andrew Bogut stays healthy (he won't), if Michael Redd comes back %100 (maybe by mid-season), and if Joe Alexander becomes a passable player (not this year), and both Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions re-sign (not likely), the Bucks have a chance at a .500 record. That's a lot that needs to happen.

The reality is that the Bucks have drafted project picks in two straight first rounds. The way this offseason has played out, management looks like they are focusing on 2-3 years from now. This team as assembled will require significant improvement to avoid a 55 loss season and a return to the lottery. If there is a plus side, it's that Milwaukee should have a lot more ping-pong balls next year.

I know Bucks GM John Hammond came over from the Pistons, was he the guy whose idea it was to draft Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony?

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