Bucks center their attention on big men

For the last several weeks, the Milwaukee Bucks have worked out mostly B-list candidates, ones they are considering for their second-round selection in the June 22 NBA draft.

Starting Tuesday and continuing through the week, the Bucks will turn their attention to a spate of players on their A-list, ones who they are considering for their first-round pick.

The Bucks, who have the 17th overall selection, are expected to get an up-close and personal look at two of the draft’s best centers — Jarrett Allen of Texas and Ike Anigbogu of UCLA  — during a workout at the Cousins Center in St. Francis.

Allen and Anigbogu are both considered middle-of-the-first round picks, or in the vicinity of where the Bucks are picking. Allen has already worked out for several teams drafting just in front or behind the Bucks: Denver (No. 13), Chicago (No. 16) and Atlanta (No. 19).

Anigbogu, meanwhile, has worked out for Detroit (No. 12), Miami (No. 14), Indiana (No. 18), Brooklyn (No. 22) and Orlando (No. 25).

Both Allen and Anigbogu fit the bill as far as the Bucks’ philosophy of drafting players with upside and with length. Allen is 19 and has a 7-foot, 5½-inch wingspan; Anigbogu, who is 18, has a 7-6¼ wingspan.

Allen is the more advanced player at this point. He possesses a nice all-around game, having averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds as a freshman for the Longhorns last season.

At the pre-draft camp in Chicago, Allen said he hadn’t patterned his game after anyone in particular, adding, “I try to take something from everybody and add it to my game,’’ but acknowledges he is a big Tim Duncan fan. “He is one of the best ever; he did a lot of things well,’’ Allen said.

Anigbogu didn’t get a lot of time to showcase his talents this season. He not only played on one of the most talented teams in the country but he was also hampered by minor injuries and wound up averaging .4.7 points and 4 rebounds.

But Anigbogu already has an NBA-ready body — he weighs 250 pounds – and is a potent shotblocker, He averaged 1.4 blocks off the bench for the Bruins.

Said Anigbogu: “I try to block every shot.’’

Anigbogu and Allen are drawing keen consideration from the Bucks even though, on the surface at least, they are well-stocked with veteran centers Greg Monroe and John Henson and Thon Maker, who started down the stretch and in the playoffs as a rookie this season.

But Monroe has an opt-out clause in his contract and there are whispers the Bucks are trying to trade Henson, who seldom played late in the season.

— Former University of Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig is healthy again and working out for teams.

Koenig, who hurt his ankle in a workout with the Bucks several weeks ago, just worked out for the Los Angeles Clippers and will now have workouts with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.


Photo: Texas athletics

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