Bucks Diary

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bucks Draft Night Examined

The Bucks decided, I think rather prudently, not to attempt entry into the first round of last night's NBA amateur draft. The draft was widely considered thin on talent. Thus there was no sense trading proven NBA talent like Mo Williams in exchange for the opportunity of selecting one of the unproven and uncertain prospects that populated the middle of the first round (that was the rumored deal). Here's an analysis of what the Bucks did do last night:

Bucks take Michael Curry type with 39th pick

The Bucks took something of a shot in the dark in Round Two by selecting North Carolina forward David Noel with the 39th overall pick. Many considered Noel a borderline second rounder at best, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him selected this high. But given the Buck's recent success uncovering hidden gems, I'm willing to reserve judgment on this one.

Noel has some intriguing qualities. He is an exceptional athlete (he ranked no. 1 overall in the NBA's predraft athleticism testing). He shot a high percentage in college (always above 55%) and tallied several 20+ point nights against quality opposition. He seemed to improve every year, and by all accounts he's a quality kid who plays an aggressive style of basketball.

All-in-all, he could be one of those smart, high-energy defensive grinders who can put the ball in the basket if a clear opportunity presents itself, and can really pick up the team's intensity level when he's on the floor. Maybe a Michael Curry type. Let's wait and see.

What others are saying about David Noel

nbadraft.net: This site refers to Noel as a "borderline second round pick"... they ranked him among the bottom 20 players at the Orlando predraft camp and filed this report: "Noel gets rave reviews from the coaches at UNC. He's a specimen type of athlete but lacks a great feel for the game and has an extremely raw skill level. He's worked hard on his 3 point shot, attacks the rim hard, and gives excellent defensive intensity. He should be an excellent role player overseas or in minor leagues." Yikes.

nba.com: The official league site purposefully accentuates the positives... that said, here's what they say about the Bucks pick: "Exceptional athlete with a chiseled physique. Nice package of all-around skills. Has improved his range, will make the correct pass and rebounds in traffic. Plays within himself."

espn.com: "Defensive specialist ... Sees minutes as a role player ... Can defend off guards, small forwards, power forwards and even some centers ... Understands his role and plays within his limitations ... Will only take high percentage shots, garbage baskets and such ... Excellent rebounder ... Limits turnovers ... Durham native averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals as a high school senior ... Considered football scholarship offers to play wide receiver, (including by UNC), but decided to walk on the UNC basketball team ... Scored 19 touchdowns as a senior."

cbs.sportsline.com: "Noel is a strong athlete who still hasn't peaked, so his upside is there. But I seriously doubt that he's going to progress enough to make any impact in the league."

Bucks select Croatian Party Animal at 59

No draft would be complete without the Bucks selecting some unheard-of foreigner with one of their second round picks. This year the lucky green card candidate is a fellow by the name of Damir Markota, or Damir Omerhodzic, the name he went by two years ago (I don't get that at all... is he a spy or something?).

Here are the particulars. He is 7'0'' and he possesses, get this, a 36 inch vertical leap! So what's he doing still around at the 59th pick? Apparently on-the-court he has shown himself to be somewhat athletically immature, and off-the-court he has forged a reputation as 'one swinging Croat' in the Euro tradition of the Festrunk brothers.

Foxsports.com describes him as "an extremely raw project" who has earned a reputation as a "big partier." ("Where are your American women?")

Still, with that kind of size, and that kind of leaping ability, coupled with his obvious "Frank the Tank" skills, he could end up being a European version of the legendary ABA star Marvin "Bad News" Barnes. Hey, its worth a throw at 59, don't you think? nbadraft.net calls his potential "huge". Another astute pick for the Bucks.

By the by, he looks about 12 years old.


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