While a local star and potential lottery pick highlighted the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first pre-draft workout, the second featured a familiar face to Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson and the Nike gestapo.
Xavier shooting guard Jordan Crawford is determined to create an impressive legacy on the court to overshadow the infamy that came with dunking over Lebron James, and took one step closer to doing so working out in the first of three prospect auditions in Milwaukee this week.
By Jake McCormick
Other participants included Dominique Jones, a 6’4″ junior from South Florida; Charles Garcia, a 6’9″ junior from Seattle; Australian A.J. Ogilvy, a 6’11” junior from Vanderbilt; Hamady N’Diaye, a 6’11” senior from Rutgers; and Luc Louves, a 6’11” foreign prospect from France.
Most prospects have somewhat of an idea of where they may be picked in the draft, but Crawford could be gone by the time the Bucks pick at 15th or still be around when they come up again at 37th.
“(Not knowing where I’m going to be drafted) bothers me a little because you have to do these workouts and at the end of the day you still don’t know where you’re going to go,” Crawford said. “I could kill it every day and still go in the second round, but that’s what you have to do. Workouts are like starting over, and what I did in college helped me get here, but I have to show I can do it every day and bring it to an NBA team.”
Despite the unknowns of Crawford’s draft status, Milwaukee could hold an advantage scouting him because of his Indiana connection to Sampson, who recruited the 6’4″ 195 lbs. shooting guard before he resigned amidst a recruiting scandal and Crawford wisely bailed jumped ship and transferred to Xavier. Crawford said he wasn’t sure if the connection will sway the Bucks one way or another, but he was able to sit down with Sampson for 20 minutes before the workout to discuss the players and scheme.
There’s little question that Crawford is a shooting guard in the literal sense of the word, as he connected on 39.1% of his threes and finishing 21st in the nation with 20.5 points per game as a sophomore. His shooting ability is impressive enough that, when asked about Crawford’s range, Bucks scouting director Billy McKinney said it’s “in the gym.”
“I’d be another guard to run with Brandon Jennings,” Crawford said, “Make it a fast-paced game, get up and down the court, and cause trouble.”
Along with NBA-caliber range, he can finish at the rim, play one-on-one, and has the confidence to step up in a big moment, as evidenced by his 28 and 27 point performances in the NCAA Tournament first and second round against Minnesota and Pittsburgh, coincidentally in the Bradley Center. At 6’4″, Crawford is undersized for a two guard and needs to work on maintaining a consistent shot release, which could put his NBA career somewhere between Jodie Meeks and Ben Gordon.
However, Crawford understands that he is going to see more playing time as a rookie if he can play defense, and that is undoubtedly a question Milwaukee will ponder if Crawford is on the board when they’re on the clock.
“I’m getting better defensively every day, that’s what all the coaches preach,” he said. “The NBA’s got scorers on every team and I’d bring defense that may not stop a player, but make it harder on them.”
Stay tuned for coverage of the Bucks’ Wednesday and Thursday pre-draft workouts as they continue evaluating prospects.Follow paulmbanks