By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on May 27, 2014
With the 2014 season proving to be an abject and dismal failure for the Milwaukee Bucks, the team hopes that, starting with the 2nd pick in the upcoming draft, it'll be able to pick up the pieces. Aside from their top pick, the Bucks don't have many obvious avenues to address their roster this season. The team is comprised of bad contracts and middling talent, which will make it difficult for the Bucks to make wholesale changes in the offseason.
Brandon Knight was one of the few bright spots for Milwaukee last season after coming over in a trade from the Pistons. While Knight was frequently asked to do entirely too much because of the struggles of other players around him, he solidified himself as Milwaukee's PG of the near future. Unless he moves in a deal for a more significant player, Knight should be in the starting lineup opening night next season.
This projection is based on the Cleveland Cavaliers opting for center Joel Embiid with the first overall pick, leaving Embiid's teammate, Andrew Wiggins, for the Bucks. In a draft like this one, with six potential franchise-changing talents, Milwaukee will be hard pressed to mess up this pick. Wiggins is arguably the best player in the draft and would fit a major need at two-guard for Milwaukee. If he's the pick, he'll start from the get-go.
Last year's first-round pick, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was another one of the few surprises for Milwaukee last season as he proved to be arguably the brightest young star on the team. Antetokounmpo still has a lot of growing to do, both physically and game-wise, but he flashed his immense potential on multiple occasions last season. If Milwaukee can pair him with Wiggins, it'd form one of the most dynamic wing pairings in the league.
Ersan Ilyasova was lavished with a big contract to keep him from leaving in free agency, and it seems like the Bucks are already having regrets about that deal. Rumors abounded last season that Milwaukee would love to get out from under Ilyasova's deal but few teams were biting. Ilyasova is still Milwaukee's best inside presence and his rebounding acumen will likely keep him in the starting lineup at least for another season.
Larry Sanders should be one of Milwaukee's better young players, but he's had a rough go of it off the court. Sanders has had some behavioral issues that culminated in him missing several months after a bar fight and last season was a lost one for the former VCU Ram. Sanders is one of the best shot-blockers in the NBA and, without that rim protection, Milwaukee's defense struggled mightily. Sanders figures to get one more shot to make his mark.
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