The Milwaukee Bucks addressed a dire need to boost free throw chances and scoring off the dribble with the acquisition of small forward Corey Maggette and shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, and it was only fitting that the Bucks centered their 2010 NBA Draft on size, athleticism and length.
After taking VCU power forward Larry Sanders 15th overall in the first round, Milwaukee added a poor man’s version of Evan Turner and a quasi-clone of Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
“We went with size tonight, and thought some skilled big buys would look good in a Bucks uniform,” coach Scott Skiles said. “When you look at the two teams in the finals, they have tremendous length around the basket. … We’re not long enough, so trying to get longer and more skilled up front is a priority for us.”
By Jake McCormick
With the 37th pick, the Bucks took 6’6″ New Mexico point/guard/forward Darington Hobson, who in 2009-10 became the first player to ever lead the Lobos in scoring, rebounds and assists in a season. That versatile skill set may conjure up images of a poor man’s Evan Turner, and the way that GM John Hammond was gushing about Hobson’s upside, it sure seemed like the Bucks had found a way to swing a deal for the No. 2 overall pick.
“The guy loves the game, a real gym rat,” Hammond said. “He’s a very unselfish player and he plays the game. He’s a very good passer, and has great vision.”
Hobson joins Carlos Delfino as a capable player at the two spot, and like Delfino, he can create shots off the dribble but struggles with a consistent jumper. Part of that problem can be attributed to carrying the weight of the entire New Mexico offense on his shoulders.
“Hobson is a very interesting player,” Skiles said. “He can handle the ball on the floor, has great vision, has some length as well. He’s an interesting player to watch and loves to pass the ball.”
If Hobson makes the team and reaches the potential Hammond and Skiles predict for him, Milwaukee could possess a real life clone of Turner.
Keith “Tiny” Gallon, PF, Oklahoma
The selection of the not-so-tiny Gallon was particularly interesting because it required the approval of the Bucks 2009 first round pick, Brandon Jennings, before the team pulled the trigger. Jennings played with Gallon for a year at Oak Hill Academy, and after his workout in Milwaukee, Gallon was giddy at the potential for a reunion at basketball’s highest level.
“We talked to Brandon as the pick was getting near,” Skiles said. “Brandon’s in the gym every day, he’s serious about the game, he loves the game and he’s got a great approach. It’ll be good that there’s somebody here that Tiny can look to and good for Brandon to start to take on more of a leadership role.”
Gallon’s strongest asset is his size, but it is also his biggest question mark, as teams were reluctant to consider taking a close to 300 pound guy willing to admit he loves junk food. But what better place is there for a light footed big man with a surprisingly deep shooting touch (he hit 18 of 25 NBA level three pointers at the Draft Combine) than Milwaukee with one of his good friends?
The former McDonald’s All-American possesses excellent rebounding skills, but often drifts around the perimeter offensively like a shooting guard trapped in a power forward’s body. Gallon knows a few tricks in the post, and will undoubtedly spend more time working on back to the basket high percentage shots than three pointers.
“He’s a very, very talented guy; he has great hands,” Hammond said. “When you talk about imagination, he likes to do all kinds of things on the floor and is an excellent passer. A guy with that much talent, we couldn’t pass on him.”
It would be very interesting to see Gallon and Davis go head-to-head, especially with the already chippy relationship between Davis (along with the rest of the Celtics) and the Bucks. Gallon was definitely a low risk high reward at No. 47, especially considering center Solomon Alibi and English power forward Ryan Richards were on the board, but Hammond has earned the right to gamble as he sees fit.
Gallon’s history of problems surrounding food, attitude, and using his body down low to its fullest extent are best served in a place where he is truly wanted and system where he will be held to a high standard of integrity.
All three Bucks draft picks fill an immediate and long term need, should they live up to expectations. But as the Hammond mantra goes, there are still multiple needs that require attention before next season. Next stop for the Bucks: Free agency.Follow paulmbanks