The Milwaukee Bucks are in full tank mode and may end with the worst record in the league. This year’s top draft choices expect to be future stars and top prizes for teams that are tanking. Their history of draft choices are full of high and low moments, and one of the lowest lows was the 2008 NBA Draft when with the No. 8 pick Milwaukee selected Joe Alexander.
Labeled as the best athlete, Milwaukee selected Alexander ahead of Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert. Usually you hear the debate best available versus need; however, in the Bucks’ case they threw that out the window and selected most potential. A defensive bust from the start, Alexander made it through the first season on promise and was dropped by Milwaukee before his third year in the league.
The first lesson from the Joe Alexander debacle is to make sure the player either plays good defense or dominates in one area of offense. Basketball at the NBA level is a very skilled game, so being a great athlete is not enough; you need to have talent in specific areas to make it. Alexander could not play defense nor could he do one thing (score, rebound, pass) extremely well on offense. Players can have liabilities provided they bring assets or specialize in specific areas of the game. The NBA is full of players who don’t play defense well but can either score 20 points, pass or shoot threes well.
This year’s draft promises to be full of great players. Some will address needs and others will be best available. The Bucks need to make sure best available means more than best athlete.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant