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Report: Despite reports, Bucks GM not afraid to take project with No. 2 pick

Jun 13, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

Dante Exum Dante Exum

A new owner often means a new front office is not far behind. The Milwaukee Bucks, after a disappointing season, have new owners.

Flowing from those two facts the buzz around the league has been that GM John Hammond’s seat was getting warm. He might not be gone immediately, but things would have to change to keep his job. Hand in hand with those rumors came the talk that the Bucks needed a sure thing with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft and while Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum all may have higher ceilings, Jabari Parker was the guy who could walk in the door right now and give you quality minutes. He can score at an NBA level tonight. His ceiling as a player is up for debate but he has the highest floor of any of the top four or five picks — people trust he will be good.

So the Bucks are going to play it safe and take Parker… not so fast with that, reports Sean Deveney at the Sporting News.

Bogus, one source said. “(Exum) is a real option for them, because of the size and the upside,” the source said. “Nobody there is approaching this like, ‘I need to save my job.’ You don’t do that in a draft. In free agency, that is a different story. But no one is going to save their job in the draft. If Exum is as good as they think he will be, they’d pull the trigger.”

There are a lot of draft smoke screens right now (look at the varied reports on Joel Embiid’s back) and you’re wise to not take every rumor to heart.

In this case, Exum has guys that love him and guys that are more in the Marcus Smart camp. The guys that are in the Exum camp tend to LOVE his potential…

But still two would be a shock. On virtually every scout’s board Embiid, Wiggins and Parker are the top three in whatever order, then you get into Exum, Smart and the rest. It would be a real surprise to see the Bucks reach up and take Exum at the two slot.

The real upshot here is you may not want to ink Parker in at the second slot.

  1. chicagosports2014 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Millwaukee will get the #1 pick next year. Smh. THERE SORRY! hahahahahehe😂

  2. roseann894 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    They would be wise to avoid the conventional wisdom. Outside Durant and Aldridge, No. 2 overall picks the last couple decades or so have been horrible.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    If my 76ers are staring at Joel Embiid at pick 3 I’m gonna be pissed. I’ve never seen a 76ers team as bad as the one I saw last year, and we need a star player badly who can hit a big shot for us. We have 2 picks in the top 10 and 5 in the 2nd round, plus a mountain of open cap space…so if the Sixers can put together a solid core of young players through the draft, and maybe lure a talented free agent to come join the squad, Philly should be looking 10 times better in a year or 2.

    • sumkat - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      Honestly, I think if Parker and Wiggins go 1/2, they drop back. At that point, someone is going to want Embiid, and is going to be willing to throw in future picks to get him. I could see them trading back to the 6-9 slots if they get a young guy and a future pick (maybe just a pick if it’s this year). Maybe Boston for 6/17. 4/12 from Orlando seems a bit much, but if they want Embiid, and know he isn’t going to be there unless they make the move, maybe you can throw in Young and get a future pick?

      I don’t think it will happen, I think Embiid goes in one of those first 2 picks, and normally I would love to get him there and I’d gamble on the back issues. But I just don’t see how him and Noel play together. Plus, just using that Boston trade I mentioned and pretending it was reality, they could get Gordon and someone like Harris/Hood/Ennis/Levine at the 17 spot. Embiid clearly has the highest ceiling of the 3 (possibly higher than the 6 and 17 pick combined), but for the Sixers i think the 2 would be better (especially considering they’d still have the 10)

      Also, like I mention below, the Rockets are going to have to get someone to basically eat those contracts if they want to make a run at Melo. They are going to have to give something up for that. With Hinke’s relationship with Houston, I could see them being their first call, and offering the 25 pick to eat some money

      • phillycannon - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:32 AM

        You obviously dont know the Sixers! Why would they move down when they need all the help they can. If Embiid is there…the Sixers will take him. The Sixers are in no position to help any team at this time. They will stay at 3 and let the Cavs and Bucks make the decision basically for the Sixers. The Sixers will only give up 3 if they get the #1 .

        Sixers can get either Wiggins or Exum and still have a solid player at #10 if they stand down.

      • sumkat - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Because, like I said, Embiid doesn’tt fit with the sixers, he can’t play with Noel

        If you take Embiid, you are giving up on Noel before he ever steps on the floor. Both of them are projects offensively, and if they were on the floor together, with MCW’s stuggles shooting, they’d be lucky to score 80 points in any given game

      • brento1499 - Jun 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        “Because, like I said, Embiid doesn’tt fit with the sixers, he can’t play with Noel”
        According to you

  4. theblackrook - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    If Wiggins is on the board you take him, if he’s off take parker. If your pick isn’t Parker, Wiggins or Embiid it’s a waste of a number 2 pick trade down with someone who has mutliple pics.

  5. yesser12 - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Even with a deep draft like this it seems like Bucks will screw it up.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jun 14, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    I remember when Russell Westbrook was a real surprise pick at #4, but the Thunder took a chance on him. Turned out to be on the money.

  7. boiler72 - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    As a Bucks fan, I want Parker first and Wiggins second. They can’t screw this up.

  8. mungman69 - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Parker looks like the safe bet for the Bucks. The Sixers don’t want Embiid AND Noel so one would have to go.
    The Cavs might have to make the safe play after screwing up last years pick. Anthony Bennett? What were they thinking?
    Cavs take Parker
    Bucks take Wiggins
    Sixers punt
    Majic take Exum
    Jazz might move up or down
    Celtics will make lots of moves
    Lakers make trade

    Hell, it’s going to be a very interesting draft.

  9. boiler72 - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    ^ I could live with that. GO BUCKS.

  10. oasis511 - Jun 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    I think all of this talk about any of the top 6 picks being projects is kind of silly. Nerlens Noel last year – now THAT was a project. Everyone talks about Parker like he’s a four-year college player. He’s not. He’s a month YOUNGER than Andrew Wiggins. All of the top 6 picks are between 18 and 20. I don’t buy into the notion that Parker has a lower ceiling than Wiggins.

    The Bucks got a good athletic swingman last year who is going to be a project – Giannis Antetokounmp. I think pairing him with Exum and letting Brandon Knight play as more of a combo guard would give them an interesting young lineup. If only they could trade Larry Sanders while they’re at it.

  11. tubbman27 - Jun 14, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    This just in; look for the Bucks to continue to be irrelevant for as long they remain in Milwaukee.


  12. haaaaasoooooo - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    More reports out of Milwaukee are saying the front office is in love with Exum. Which might not be all that bad! Exum or Wiggins would fill the seats and make the Bucks exciting to watch. Note: there is a difference between “exciting to watch” and “winners”. But eventually, Lebron will have to retire, RIGHT?

  13. mungman69 - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    WATCH OUT; on draft night (or before) Utah and Boston and many other teams are going to make a bundle of trades.

  14. milkcan44 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Not a 76er fan, but all the comments about Embiid not being able to play with Noel seem idiotic. Maybe these people have lived in Phila too long.
    If Embiid is better, draft him and trade Noel. Wow! What a brainstorm!

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