The 2012 NBA Draft is almost upon us and general managers across the league are trying to gather every last bit of information to select the correct player. The Milwaukee Bucks are no different, as they will have a critical choice to make Thursday night.
There are still rumors of the Bucks trading up in the draft but nothing has been confirmed yet. What is known is Milwaukee must select a player that can have an immediate impact on the team and help propel them to the postseason, a place they have not been in three years.
The following are five players the Bucks should consider drafting with the 12th selection:
Austin Rivers, SG – Duke
If Austin Rivers falls to the Bucks then they must select him. Doc Rivers’ son has shown the potential to be great and has all the talent in the world to make a name for himself in the NBA. He had a decent freshman season at Duke but I believe he could have played better if he did not have to deal with the hype. If able to draft Rivers, Milwaukee should consider trading Brandon Jennings to make room on the team. Jennings has already stated he will be testing the waters once he becomes a free agent so at least this way the Bucks will get something from him. Also, they could move Monta Ellis to point guard and allow Rivers to start at shooting guard.
Andre Drummond, PF/C – UConn
Andre Drummond is another freshman who did not have an off-the-charts season but that does not mean he cannot be a solid NBA player. I believe there is tremendous upside to Drummond and the fact he is physically gifted is something the Bucks could utilize immediately. He has the combination of power, size, mobility, and athleticism that Milwaukee desperately needs in the paint. The one thing he would have to master is the post-game, something he does not do particularly well. However, I am confident Scott Skiles and the coaching staff can work on that.
Dion Waiters, SG – Syracuse
The reality is Dion Waiters will most likely not be available to the Bucks unless they move up to take him. However, if he somehow miraculously fell to the 12th spot then Milwaukee would have no choice but to draft him, as he would be the best player on the board. Like Rivers, Waiters can play both guard positions and is a solid offensive playmaker. He is a great scorer but appears to be even better at creating plays off the dribble. Milwaukee’s offense is built around passing to set up the open shot, which means Waiters would fit in perfectly with the team.
John Henson, PF – North Carolina
John Henson is another big man the Bucks could utilize in the middle. His offensive game will need a little work but he will bring a lot to the table on defense, as he is a phenomenal rebounder and shot-blocker. His 13.7 points per game is a little low but he still converted 50.0% of his shots from the field. Henson is athletic, explosive, reactive, and quick for a guy who is 6’10”. He shows great instincts on both ends of the court and knows how to use his body effectively. Once drafted, Henson will need to build some muscle, as his small frame will get pushed around in the NBA.
Tyler Zeller, PF/C – North Carolina
Tyler Zeller is the most likely candidate to be available for the Bucks once the 12th selection rolls around. He is mobile and athletic for being seven feet tall . He uses a right-hand jump hook that he has seemed to master while also good at making medium-range jump shots. Zeller would fit perfectly with the Bucks fast-paced offense, as he is able to move up and down the court with ease. He is another player Milwaukee would have to bulk up in order for him to survive on both ends of the court.