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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the Stove Top: NBA Draft Talk

Today Trevon Hughes participated in his third pre-draft workout of the month, this time for the Indiana Pacers. On Friday, Hughes joined five others in working out for the Charlotte Bobcats, who do not have a pick in this year's draft.

Prior to that, Hughes had worked out with the Sacramento Kings on June 3 and the Milwaukee Bucks in May.

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It's been a while since I touched on the Milwaukee Bucks here, but they made headlines today. Following the (expected) revelation that John Salmons will opt out of his contract this month, Milwaukee has reportedly shipped Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell to the Warriors in exchange for Corey Maggette.

Seems like another Richard Jefferson experiment to me. What is John Hammond thinking? Maggette is just another me-first wing player who came off the bench 20+ times for a 26-win Golden State team. Sure, Milwaukee is getting a player with actual skills, but the trade only saves money for one season since Maggette has three years of bloated salary remaining on his deal. Oh, and he can't shoot threes either.

Having said that, I am excited to get Gadzuric off the books. I will miss the "Wham goes the Danny G jam!" radio calls though ...

The trade sets Milwaukee up to narrow its focus for their three picks (#15, #37, #47) in Thursday's NBA Draft. The Bucks have brought in tons of players to work out of course and were one team previously rumored to be interested in trading down. I'm guessing the Maggette trade puts a damper on that thought.

Milwaukee's two glaring needs are power forward and shooting guard. Going big should be Hammond's play here. It looks like Luke Babbitt, Gordon Hayward and Patrick Patterson will all be off the board by the time Milwaukee's first-round selection rolls around, though DraftExpress still has Hayward going to the Bucks in their latest mock. On the other hand, predicts Kansas' freshman SG Xavier Henry in the 15th spot.

Under Scott Skiles, the Bucks have really improved on defense and Andrew Bogut is a good shot blocker. Add another fly swatter and you can pose major problems for opponents. To that end, the team would gladly take Epke Udoh or Larry Sanders. Udoh is a definite first-rounder, but Sanders could potentially slip to the second where other possible choices include Jarvis Varnardo, Samardo Samuels, Keith "Tiny" Gallon, Latavious Williams, Jordan Crawford, Matt Bouldin, and Quincy Pondexter.

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I'd quibble with Justin Young for tabbing Alando Tucker ('07) as the worst 29th pick in NBA Draft history, but really it just reminded me of what a raw deal some of these draft picks get. Some guys land on horrible teams and wash out, others land on great teams and never see the light of day. It truly comes down to the luck of the draw. Good thing Tucker dominated during his senior year to wrap up at least one contract's worth of guaranteed first-round money.

In Tucker's defense, the 29th pick has been a first-rounder only since 2003 and really it's too soon to judge the '08 and '09 classes at all. So that's only five players to choose from. I assume the inferior Wayne Simien got a nudge since he rode Dwyane Wade's coattails to a championship.

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According to Christ School coach David Gaines, prep center Marshall Plumlee is likely going to choose between Duke, Virginia and North Carolina as his college destination. Following Frank Kaminsky's commitment to the Badgers, Wisconsin's need for Plumlee plummeted anyway, but after you factor in increased attention from Duke (especially Plumlee's Blue Devil brothers), this news was practically a given.

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