Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 Milwaukee Bucks Draft Picks

This is my second year doing a "mock" first round NBA Draft (2011 and 2012) and my third year reviewing the Bucks actual draft (2010 and 2011).

Usually there are a ton of trades in the first round of the NBA Draft, which makes it really hard to marry pick, player, and team correctly.  This year that was not the case but I still unfortunately only nailed the exact draft number and player for 6 picks* out of 30 in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Although that seems like I did a horrible job, I correctly predicted 26 out of 30 players** that went in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.  Of the 4 guys*** that I incorrectly predicted would go in the first round, they all were drafted by the 40th pick so my prognostication skills are pretty good.

Here is a breakdown of the two players that the Milwaukee Bucks drafted in the 2012 NBA Draft:

1st Round (14th Overall): John Henson
Position: Power Forward
Age: 21
Birth date: December 28, 1990
Birthplace: Round Rock, TX
School: University of North Carolina
Class: Junior
Height: 6'10"
Weight: 216 lbs
Reach: 9'2"
Wingspan: 7'5"
Twitter: @_John_Henson_
Other Possible Picks: Royce White, Tyler Zeller, and Evan Fournier
Positive Attributes (per ESPN's Chad Ford): super athletic; long, lanky forward; great motor; awesome rebounder and shot-blocker; excellent defender; and high-character guy
Negative Attributes (per ESPN's Chad Ford): needs to add A LOT of muscle and perimeter game needs developing 
Analysis: I anointed nine players as the "bell cows" of the draft in my first round preview for the Bucks.  That meant I thought those nine guys had no chance of being available when the Bucks were on the clock with the 14th pick.  As it turns out 8 of those 9 players were drafted with John Henson being the lone "bell cow" still available.  The Bucks smartly pounced despite having a glut of power forwards on the roster (Drew Gooden, Ekpe Udoh, and Larry Sanders).  As I tweeted during the draft, I liked Henson's teammate Tyler Zeller as well.  Despite Zeller being a center and Henson being a power forward, Henson will be a better shoot blocker and all-around defender in the NBA than Zeller.  Plus the NBA is moving away from using a traditional center.  There are still the Dwight Howards and Andrew Bynums of the world teams are gravitating towards playing smaller line-ups using a power forward/center as their defensive stopper instead of a traditional center.  On his podcast, Bill Simmons talked Jay Bilas into saying that someone had "Freddie Kruger like length" during the draft telecast and Henson was the lucky recipient of that praise.  Seems like worthy praise since Henson has a 7'5" winspan but is only 6'11"... pretty damn impressive.  Don't get me wrong, Henson has to add some muscles mass over the next few seasons but I see the Bucks putting Henson on a three-year plan that results in him being a stud on the defensive end that finds his offensive touch by his second or third NBA season.  It could just be Henson having a quality PR coach but every interview he has given so far he has mentioned how much he likes Milwaukee.  In case you can't tell already, I absolutely love this pick.  The Milwaukee Bucks have enough guys that can shoot so adding a two time ACC defensive player of the year is a no brainer.  I am in Milwaukee this weekend and if I am able to locate a Henson jersey, I will buy my first jersey since I purchased a Big Dog jersey over a decade ago.  Mark my words, the floor for Henson is Tayshaun Prince and the ceiling feels limitless.

2nd Round (42nd Overall): Deron Lamb
Position: Shooting Guard
Age: 20
Birth date: November 6, 1991
Birthplace: Laurelton, NY
School: Kentucky
Class: Sophomore
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 199 lbs
Reach: 8'3"
Wingspan: 6'7"
Twitter: @DLamb20
Other Possible Picks: Darius Miller, Kostas Papanikolaou, and Kyle O'Quinn
Positive Attributes (per ESPN's Chad Ford): big-time scorer, very smooth, awesome mid-range game, good ball handler, big wingspan makes up for lack of size, and good athlete
Negative Attributes (per ESPN's Chad Ford): needs to add strength and a bit undersized for his position 
Analysis: Much like with Henson, I thought there was no way in the world that Deron Lamb would be available.  Despite previewing a ton of players for the Bucks to target in the second round, I never for a minute thought about including Lamb.  It seems crazy to me that arguably the most prolific three pointer shooter in Kentucky history (click here for the stats) was still around towards the middle of the second round.  My only real knock on Lamb is that he does this weird eye thing every time he hits a three.  Now that he is on the Bucks may be it will be endearing but I found it annoying when he played for Kentucky. As I tweeted during the draft, the Lamb pick felt just like when the Bucks drafted Jodie Meeks.  Both players are prolific shooting guards from the University of Kentucky, the only difference is that the Bucks got Meeks with the 41st pick in the 2009 NBA Draft while they got Lamb with the 42nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.  I was excited about Meeks in 2009 and am downright ecstatic about Lamb.  Much like I did with Henson above.  Mark my words, the floor for Lamb is being the right handed Michael Redd so please don't discard Lamb the way you did Meeks for a second round draft pick.

Everyone likes to feel like they got a deal, which is most of the reason why I enjoy buying clothes from the outlet mall.  The Bucks must feel like the 2012 NBA Draft was their visit to the outlet mall since they got two players that were projected to go much earlier than where the Bucks drafted them.

Before we start popping champagne bottles, I am including myself since I am on the prowl for a Henson jersey, let me throw throw a little cold water on the post.  On one of my trips to the outlet malls I liked a certain pair of pants so I bought a few versions of them in different colors.  Unfortunately some of them didn't fit right so the moral of the story is that outlet mall acquisitions don't always work out.

On paper Henson and Lamb look like definite rotation guys as rookies and project to be starters down the road.  We all know NBA players are talented so it usually comes down to how all these players mesh.

The Bucks got rid of Jon Brockman, Shaun Livingston, and Jon Leuer while adding Samuel Dalembert, John Henson, and Deron Lamb. That seems like a hell of a swap but part of that enthusiasm goes back to the outlet mall analogy.  Hopefully we look back at the 2012 NBA Draft as a shrewd trip to the outlet mall instead of a bust.

Related Posts
- Wednesday What (Might) Happen - 2012 NBA Draft First Round Preview for the Bucks
- Quick Thoughts - Bucks/Rockets 2012 NBA Draft Day Eve Trade
- Wednesday What (Might) Happen - 2012 NBA Draft Second Round Preview for the Bucks
- Wednesday What (Should) Happen - Advice for John Hammond

* = Anthony Davis (PF, Kentucky) went 1st, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF, Kentucky) went 2nd, Bradley Beal (SG, Florida) went 3rd, Thomas Robinson (PF, Kansas) went 5th, Fab Melo (C, Syracuse) went 22nd, and Tony Wroten Jr. (PG, Washington) went 25th.

** = I missed on John Jenkins (SG, Vanderbilt) went 23rd, Jared Cunningham (SG, Oregon State) went 24th, Miles Plumlee (C, Duke) went 26th, and Festus Ezeli (C, Vanderbilt) went 30th.

*** = Quincy Miller (SF, Baylor) predicted 24th went 38th, Draymond Green (SF, Michigan State) predicted 27th went 35th, Will Barton (SG, Memphis) predicted 29th went 40th, and Jeff Taylor (SF, Vanderbilt) predicted 30th went 31st.

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