The Bucks provided some of the best moments of the 2010 Playoffs extending Atlanta to 7 games while missing two of their starters and relying on a rookie point guard. How can the Bucks improve their team at this year's draft?
Returning Players- Michael Redd (SG - Player Option); Andrew Bogut (C); Dan Gadzuric (C); John Salmons (SG - Player Option); Charlie Bell (SG); Carlos Delfino (SF); Brandon Jennings (PG); Ersan Ilyasova (SF); Luc Mbah a Moute (PF)
Team Payroll (8 Players) – $49,433,759 (Redd - Yes, Salmons - No)
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- Depth at both guard positions and big men
Position Needs – PG, SG, PF, C
Picks – 1st Round (#15); 2nd Round (#37, #47)
Analysis- After surviving injuries to Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd to earn a playoff shot, the Bucks should welcome them back to a much stronger team. However, there is no guarantee that they can rally again under similar circumstances. That's why the theme of this year's Bucks' draft should be "depth." With John Salmons almost certain to test free agency, the Bucks are again lacking a quality player to back-up Michael Redd, and Dan Gadzuric is no Andrew Bogut. With a draft deep in shooting guards and power forwards, the Bucks should be able to address their need for depth with some quality players who may even challenge for major minutes.
The talent of the big men in this year's draft is very top heavy, so look for the Bucks to try and address this need at #15. They could add a big man such as Daniel Orton of Kentucky who can learn under Bogut for a couple of years. Orton would give them some quality depth and good energy off the bench. With a capable backup in Gadzuric, there would be little pressure for Orton to produce immediately. Another possibility is Hassan Whiteside of Marshall who would give the Bucks the ability to add a defensive presence off the bench, though he is a few years away from being a quality player.
At the #37 spot, the Bucks can look to add depth in the backcourt. Again, there will be some quality players available at both guard positions at this point of the draft. If the Bucks want to look for a shooting guard, they can possibly add a player such as Willie Warren of Oklahoma. Warren is a athletic scorer who was considered a potential lottery pick at the beginning of the year. Injuries and a problem adjusting to being the focus of the team led to a semi-disastrous season. He is extremely skilled and has the potential to back up both guard positions. Another possibility, if available, would be Darington Hobson, who emerged at New Mexico this year, showing skills as both a playmaker and a scorer. At #47, look for the Bucks to grab the best player available, or possibly draft a foreign player who they can keep overseas for another year or two. A player such as Robin Benzing, a skilled shooter with excellent size is a possibility, as well as Paulo Prestes, the Brazilian big man who is powerful and athletic, but very raw.
If the Bucks address their depth issues in the draft, they will be positioned to make a run at least at the 2nd round of the playoffs next season. The future is looking good in Milwaukee and should only get better.