Bucks Draft Preview: Hammond’s song remains the same

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John Hammond

Note: I’ll be at the Bucks media party tonight at the Cousins Center at St. Francis tweeting and chatting about the draft, so be sure to check back here or my Twitter page for updates from the Bucks War Room.

In the span of 24 hours, Milwaukee Bucks GM John Hammond swapped two bench warmers with expiring contracts for a pure-scoring small forward and a second round draft pick, and nabbed a slashing wing for a second rounder in 2012 (announcement pending).

Although filling immediate scoring needs at the wing positions may have altered the Bucks’ 2010 NBA Draft big board slightly, the Talented Mr. Hammond insisted that when he means Best Player Available, he really means Best Player Available.

By Jake McCormick

“We probably are going to look and say best player on the board,” Hammond said Wednesday. “Any player we get is going to address a need.”

The chances of the Bucks moving up in tonight’s draft are extremely slim, as they would have to part with one of their seven players under contract (not including Michael Redd) and all seven are integral parts of Milwaukee’s core.

But with the No. 37th, 44th, and 47th picks to go along with No. 15, Hammond said it would be “highly unlikely” that the Bucks will walk away from the draft with four rookies, which indicates that Milwaukee could move down in the first round or pick up a veteran rotation player by Friday morning.

The current projected depth chart for the 2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks:
Brandon Jennings – TBA
Chris Douglas-Roberts (pending) – TBA
Corey Maggette – Carlos Delfino – TBA
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – Ersan Ilyasova – TBA
Andrew Bogut – TBA

Milwaukee really is in a great spot to take the literal Best Player Available at any position, given the ambiguity surrounding the eight or nine picks ahead of them. Coupled together, that makes it nearly impossible to pinpoint a specific player until they’re on the clock tonight.

Instead of setting myself up for failure by claiming one player has the edge over the rest of the field, here’s a short list of candidates for the No. 15 pick (* indicates potential pick if the Bucks move down in the first round):

Point guard:
Kentucky freshman Eric Bledsoe

Shooting guards:

Kansas freshman Xavier Henry
Oklahoma State junior James Anderson
Texas freshman Avery Bradley
*Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson
*Xavier sophomore Jordan Crawford

Small forwards:
Fresno State sophomore Paul George
Nevada sophomore Luke Babbitt
Butler sophomor Gordon Hayward
*Texas senior Damion James

Power forwards:
Kentucky junior Patrick Patterson
*VCU junior Larry Sanders

Centers:
Kansas junior Cole Aldrich
Marshall freshman Hassan Whiteside

All Bucks fans can do now is read and wait until 6:30 p.m. tonight…

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