After having spent the last several weeks looking primarily at potential big men for their first-round selection in next Thursday’sNBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks are now turning their attention to wing and guard prospects.
The Bucks, who have the 17th overall selection, are expected to work out Justin Jackson and Donovan Mitchell on Friday at their training center in St. Francis.
Jackson, a 6-foot-7 wing, is coming off an outstanding junior season for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He averaged 18.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in garnering the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors last season.
In last year’s draft, the Bucks chose guard Malcolm Brogdon in the second round after he had a stellar season at Virginia and was chosen the ACC Player of the Year. Brogdon is now the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors.
Jackson, 22, tested the draft waters last summer but, after consulting with officials from several NBA, opted to return to North Carolina. The decision proved to be a shrewd one as he is now projected as a sure-fire first-round pick, likely to be chosen anywhere between 12 and 23.
Mitchell, 20, is also coming off a highly productive sophomore season at Louisville, where he averaged 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds.
NBA scouts have mixed feelings about Mitchell, mainly because of his height and concerns whether he has a true position. There is a camp of player personnel people who believe Mitchell’s best spot is shooting guard. However, he measured only 6 feet, 1 ¼ at last month’s pre-draft camp in Chicago. His supporters claim that isn’t a big deal, though, as he has an enormous 6-10 wingspan.
To some scouts Mitchell could be taken at the tail end of the lottery, perhaps 12th to Detroit, while others have rated him as a late first-rounder.
The Bucks are expected to meet with another wing player next week, that being 19-year-old Terrance Ferguson, who is from Tulsa, Okla. but played for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia this past season after bypassing major college offers in the States.
Ferguson, who was measured at 6-5 ½ without shoes at the pre-draft camp, has a lot of work to do on his body as he weighs a mere 184 pounds. But he is one of the elite shooters in the draft, an area the Bucks are looking to shore up during the offseason.