Bucks Should Have Solid Options at No. 24


The Milwaukee Bucks rarely have had success with first-round selections in recent years.

One exception of course– Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s also true the Bucks rarely had first-round draft picks in recent years, opting to trade them for proven commodities. It’s hard to argue as Jrue Holiday helped deliver the Bucks’ first championship in 50 years.

With the Bucks’ cap situation — over the projected salary cap of $122 million with just their four highest-paid players ($128 million) — and the Big 3 signed for multiple years, they could use controllable, young talent who can outperform salary. With that said, who could the Bucks select in the fast-approaching 2022 Draft? Here are some names to watch.

Kennedy Chandler

Chandler is an extremely quick and shifty point guard. Despite being only six-feet tall, he could provide the Bucks another ball-handler. Chandler averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game for Tennessee last year. He also shot 38 percent from three. Not only that, the 19-year-old is a pretty gifted defender. He is somewhat undersized, but is aggressive– a quality the Bucks desperately seek more of.

Wendell Moore

A knock-down shooter, Moore added to his game this year at Duke. With Giannis able to draw numerous defenders, Moore can add another floor spacer to the Bucks’ offense. He shot 41 percent from three last year and averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists to only two turnovers per game.

According to his draft profile, Moore “can be an instant starter and secondary ball-handler to generate offense.” This is intriguing, as it fits to what the Bucks need along with being able to space the floor for Giannis. He also is switchable defensively, at 6-6 with a 7-1 (!) wingspan.

And despite three years at Duke, Moore doesn’t turn 21 until September.

Kendall Brown

Brown is a dynamic athlete. He is a long wing who too is switchable and a standout defender. Brown has major upside, but is still pretty raw. He can jump out of the gym but is pretty inconsistent with his shot. A team who can be patient will be getting a steal if he’s available in the late 20s. He averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his lone year at Baylor.

The 19-year-old is 6-7 and has a 6-11 wingspan. Despite his ideal length and athleticism, his offensive game needs some refining, but his tools as a defender, athlete and floor spacer who knows his role is still very valuable.

Christian Braun

Braun is a very well-rounded player and opened some eyes at the NBA Draft workouts. Braun has some impressive athleticism to go with a good shot. He also is 6-7 and should be switchable defensively. His versatility along with his athleticism and shot-making makes him a real possibility for the Bucks at 24. Braun averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on 38.6-percent shooting from distance.

Jalen Williams

He might not be available at 24, but if he makes it, that’s my pick. Williams is a long wing, who can defend multiple positions and also is a very good playmaker and shooter. Williams measured 6-6 at the combine with a 7-2 wingspan and shot nearly 40% from three-point range at Santa Clara.

You can see why it’s doubtful he makes it to 24? He has been climbing mock drafts over the last month.


E.J. Liddell

Small lineups have been in since the Warriors’ first go-round. Now, fresh off their fourth title in eight years, expect that to remain. Liddell is only 6-7 — is more of a four — but he can defend the three defensively on switches. Liddell could be a perfect compliment to Giannis in a small-ball lineup as the bigs. According to this mock draft, “Slightly undersized power forward who plays way above his 6-7 frame and has improved dramatically as a shooter the last year.”

Liddell averaged 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game on over 37-percent shooting from deep at Ohio State last season.

Other options at 24: Dalen Terry, 6-7,guard/wing; Walker Kessler, 7-0, C; MarJon Beauchamp, 6-7, wing; Caleb Houstan, 6-8, wing/small ball 4; Max Christie, 6-5, wing; Blake Wesley, 6-4, guard; Jake LaRavia, 6-8, switchable four.

What’s the pick?

The Bucks’ championship window is now with Giannis, Middleton and Holiday signed for the next few years. I expect a player who can contribute immediately. To cheat a bit, the Bucks could trade 24 for multiple picks as they need players on the cheap. With 3-and-D players so needed around the league and in short supply among wings available for the taxpayer mid-level exception in free agency, the Bucks can get an instant contributor for cheap.

I feel like the Bucks select a 3-and-D type or Liddell as a switchable frontcourt player who can shoot. If available, Jalen Williams or Wendell Moore would be nice selections at 24.

About Mitchell Skurzewski

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