With another NBA Draft comes another second round where I somehow convince myself that I understand exactly what the Bucks’ front office is doing. Thoughts like “They made a great pick!” and “Oh, this guy has some potential!” bounce around in my head like a game of ping-pong as I stare wide-eyed into the TV screen. I then begin to tell myself that the 5-12 minutes total of what I probably have seen of this guy play in college somehow extrapolates to him becoming an All-Star.
“Oh yes, he’s going to change everything, that Dan Gadzuric!”
In all honesty, I get lost and confused every time I watch the second round of the NBA Draft. I barely recognize a third of the names, and that’s on top of the enigmatic international prospects. This confusion might just stem from the fact that I’m a Bucks fan, and most of us end up scratching our heads after we hear any sort of Milwaukee draft pick get called (shout out to Tiny Gallon), or I could just be very ill-prepared for the NBA Draft every year. WELL NOT THIS YEAR! This year, my fellow Bucks fans, is different; this year I got you covered.
Now, I’m not exactly sure what direction the Bucks will go with in the first round. Shooter? Center or forward? Another long wing-spanned freak? A foreign player no one has ever heard of or can pronounce? There are even rumors of the Bucks trading up in the draft that are just surfacing this week. That darn John Hammond sure knows how to keep me on my toes, so I’m not entirely sure what needs the Bucks might want to directly address in the second round. Regardless, I looked into a few potential second round picks that I thought were intriguing and perhaps even attainable with Milwaukee’s 46th pick, so check them out.
JP Tokoto (SG/SF)
Weight: 200 lbs
The hometown prodigy returns! The Menominee Falls High School alum could soon be moving back from the east coast to join the Bucks. Tokoto’s 6’10” wingspan and excellent athleticism could be a good fit for a team that loves size and scoring in transition. He was also an all-ACC defensive player for the past two years. On the other hand, he struggles with his ball-handling and jump shot, which will make it tough for him to flourish as a wing in the NBA. Fun fact: My middle school basketball team played against his in 8th grade, and I’m pretty sure he dunked on me. More than once. Can’t wait to tell my children one day.
Pat Connaughton (SG)
College: Notre Dame
Weight: 218 lbs
Connaughton seemed like he was the heart and soul of Notre Dame this past year, as he showed a lot of toughness on the court. He’s an excellent shooter who shot 40% from three the last two years, a capable rebounder, and was one of the most efficient college basketball players this past year. He impressed teams at the combine by putting up a 44″ vertical and possesses great athleticism and a high basketball I.Q. His size and frame limit him defensively, but he has a solid chance to make a name for himself in the NBA.
Nikola Milutinov (C)
Weight: 220 lbs
Milutinov has been impressive in the Adriatic League these past few years and is getting the attention of many NBA teams. He’s a guy who can run the floor and play fast, as well as possessing a nice touch around the rim. He still needs to add on some more muscle to help establish himself down low both offensively and defensively in the NBA. I’m not sure how high or low in the second round he’ll go, but if he is available for the Bucks to take at 46, he could bring a lot to Milwaukee (eventually). It’s hard to come by a 7-footer in this league, and the fact that he’s only 20 years old and has experience playing overseas could make him a steal in this draft.
Michael Qualls (SG)
Weight: 205 lbs
Sure, Qualls may have tore his ACL during workouts, but he has the body type that Jason Kidd would love to have in his defensive scheme. He’s 6’6″ with a 7′ wingspan and plays hard on the defensive side of the ball, which really fits with Milwaukee. The extra length will allow him to guard multiple positions in the NBA, making him a versatile player. Qualls is not quite there with his shooting or ball handling skills yet, but with some hard work and a little time he could become an impactful 3 and D type of player.
You never know what you can find in the second round. It’s the mystery box of the NBA draft, filled with the overlooked, the doubted, and the forgotten. It’s the round of stashing away international players, risky project guys, and the red flagged. It’s a breeding ground filled with high hopes and low expectations, yet sometimes it can be something more. Sometimes the second round is where a franchise finds that one guy that doesn’t just make a difference, but THE difference.
Lets hope the Bucks find such a player this Thursday.
Image via Sporting News