Planning Out The 2024 Draft For The Milwaukee Bucks

June 17th, 2024

by Alan Lu

People were hyped for the Milwaukee Bucks this season after they acquired superstar point guard Damian Lillard from Portland, but trading away their longtime veteran and star defensive point guard Jrue Holiday was too much for them to give up this season, and a chaotic situation revolving around their then new coach Adrian Griffin and their handling of it could be to blame for their relatively disappointing season this year. (Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images, via DraftKings Network)

It was a tumultuous year for the Milwaukee Bucks, even if on the surface it may not necessarily appear that way. After they replaced their longtime head coach Mike Budenholzer with Adrian Griffin, things got chaotic pretty quickly, even after they managed to land superstar point guard Damian Lillard in a trade with Portland, although it did cost them their longtime point guard Jrue Holiday, which arguably made Milwaukee’s defense much worse.

Griffin yelled at assistant coach Terry Stotts in front of the whole team, as Stotts used to be Lillard’s long time coach in Portland, which later led Stotts to resign. Then, the Bucks were never on board with Griffin wanting to change their defensive scheme from a drop coverage to an aggressive switching scheme, and Griffin let them change the scheme right back as he acquiesced to their demands, in addition to he didn’t have the personnel (namely Jrue Holiday, who is now on Boston) to play the aggressive switching scheme on defense.

Bobby Portis then yelled at Griffin during a loss in the In-Season Tournament, and on top of that, the players seemed like they were not having fun or getting any joy from playing for him. So, even though Griffin was winning about 70% of his games, the Bucks decided to fire him just before the All-Star break. In the season preview that I wrote up earlier, I predicted that a Milwaukee Bucks head coach would be chosen to lead the East. A Bucks head coach would lead the Eastern Conference All-Star team as their coach, but it turned out that it would be Doc Rivers to lead them, and not Adrian Griffin.

Doc Rivers has won an NBA championship back when he coached the 2008 Boston Celtics, but had been known for blown 3-1 and 3-2 leads in the playoffs, and people were especially critical of his handling of the 76ers in previous postseasons. This time around, the blame doesn’t really lie on him, because he didn’t start out the season with the Bucks.

The Bucks did lose to the Indiana Pacers in the first round, but they also weren’t fully healthy. Giannis and Damian Lillard have had trouble staying healthy, but even when they were, they didn’t always gel together as their team lost more games than they should, and the team didn’t play as well on the defensive end as they should have. For their team needs, the Bucks need to add more shooters and defenders to better complement the skills of Giannis and Damian Lillard. But they also could maybe use a skilled big man that could one day take over for Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, whom are both solid role players but are not getting any younger.

Here is what I did for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2024 ESPN NBA Mock Draft Simulator.

Test Simulation #1:

A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks.  First test simulation. Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks. First test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #2:

A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.
A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #3:

A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks. Third test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.
A mock draft board for the Milwaukee Bucks. Third test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Kel’el Ware would be a solid pick at 25, as he is a very skilled big man that can stretch the defenses with his shooting ability and provide rim protection, and also because Lopez and Portis are getting older, so they would need some younger legs to give them a breather. Also, the Bucks could use more 3 and D role players that could provide shooting and defense to complement the skills of Giannis and Damian Lillard, and Terrence Shannon, Baylor Scheierman, and Justin Edwards would be solid picks for the Bucks. Anyways, the 2024 draft will be held on June 26 and 27. Thanks for reading.

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