The seemingly always lottery bound Milwaukee Bucks have the 10th pick
Brian Saunders

Ellie selects:
Tony Battie

I.      Team Need/History:

This is pretty easy.  The Bucks are not in good shape.  It is not clear
what will happen with the Baker/Robinson tandem - there has been a lot of
speculation that one of them will be traded to help build the team.
Baker is probably more attractive to other teams due to a lower salary and
shorter contract, but there might be some teams interested in Robinson.
Or, the Bucks might stick with both and see what they can get otherwise.

I will assume that neither player will be traded before the draft, and make
picks based on that.  With that in mind, my critical needs are center and
point guard.  However, I think the Bucks should take the best player
available (sounds like a broken record, doesn't it).

The Bucks have had a history over the past few years of not making the
wisest draft picks.  Grant Hill would probably have been a better pick than
Robinson in hindsight, and the Bucks should have kept Stephon Marbury
rather than get Ray Allen.  Such is life.  Well, Dunleavy is now gone, and
a rumor is that Wayne Embry will move into the front office of the Bucks
soon.  Maybe even I have a shot at the GM position. :^)

        A.      Center:

Yikes!  Nobody on the team is really helping a lot.  At the end of this
year, we had Andrew Lang, Acie Earl, Joe Wolf, and sometimes even Vin Baker
listed in this position.  Tony Battie, Adonyl Foyle, or Kelvin Cato could be
good picks, because the Bucks really could use centers that rebound well and
are defensive-minded.  It is likely that two of those three will be gone by
the #10 spot, but at least one will probably be available.

I'm not even going to discuss bringing back Rashard Griffith...

        B.      Power Forward:

Assuming Vin Baker hangs around, this is really not a need.  He needs to be
more consistent at scoring and defending, and lately his attitude has been
questionable at times (losing will do that to you).  Vin is backed up by
Armon Gilliam, David Wood, Wolf, and Earl - I wouldn't bet the house on any
of these players.  I don't see any of the guys in the draft adding a lot
here, though it is possible that Fortson or Tim Thomas could end up the
best players available.

        C.      Small Forward:

Glenn Robinson is fine, if he hangs around.  Last year he showed glimpses
of raising his play to all-star level, but once the Bucks hit a losing skid
so did his game.  For the most part, his statistics were about the same as
the year before.  He did turn it over a bit less and improve his shot
selection, but those areas still need work.  Glenn will never be a great
defender, but I still feel there is a lot of room for improvement there.
He is backed up by Chucky Brown, Wood, and Johnny Newman - once again none
of which are going have anything to do with the future success of the Bucks.

        D.      Shooting Guard:

The jury is still out on Ray Allen.  He had his moments, both good and bad.
I think he'll be good in the long run.  Newman is his only real backup, and
is competent but getting long in the tooth.  Tracy McGrady seems too much of
a gamble, though he could play off in the long run.  Why, oh why, didn't
they give Voshon Lenard a more serious look?!?

        E.      Point Guard:

I thought Elliot Perry would step up this year, but he never did.  Sherman
Douglas is still somewhat effective, though he isn't getting any younger.
One of these two will probably have to go, and if the Bucks draft a point
guard, I'd keep Sherman because he seems like he'd be more of a teacher.
I think Antonio Daniels, Chauncey Billups, Brevin Knight, or Jacque Vaughan
all would be reasonable picks, depending on who is left by the #10 pick.
Of course, the BEST alternative here would have been keeping Stephon Marbury
last year, but hindsight is always 20/20, and I doubt Marbury would been
that happy in Milwaukee anyway.

II.     Your selection:

Tony Battie, center, Texas Tech.

I am shocked that Tony slipped to #10 in the draft, so maybe the people
picking above me know something that I don't.  Tony should fit in well on
the front line, being able to score and play defense.  If the Bucks can put
a scoring threat inside, it might take pressure off Baker and Robinson.

Battie probably slipped this far due to his light weight (225 lb.).  I am
hoping he can add enough to that so that he doesn't get pushed around.

III.    Others considered:

Kelvin Cato:  has much more weight than Battie (255 lb)., and is more of a
defender.  Ultimately, his lack of offensive polish led to my choice of

Jacque Vaughn:  the Bucks really could use a point guard, but I just get
this feeling that Vaughn was more a function of his system.  Then again, I
heard the same things about Isiah Thomas.  I hope this doesn't end up being
a big mistake.

Danny Fortson:  he could either end up like a Barkley or a Corliss
Williamson - who knows?  I do know that the Bucks hardly need to be
sticking with a 2 power forward offense, though.

I thought that either Billups or Knight would be around for this pick, but
since they aren't, I don't have to justify not picking them.  Foyle also
would have been a good pick, but once again he isn't around.

IV.     Who the team will likely take:

Things have been quiet from the Bucks upper office.  They still haven't
found a replacement at GM.  The draft pick will be used, so they say, so we
know they'll take somebody.  I think that Battie will be gone by then, so I
see the Bucks either taking Billups, Knight, or Cato.

V.      Other moves the team should make:

A lot of the minor players are on the free-agent market (Brown, Wolf,
Carruth, and Wood), but I doubt any will generate a lot of interest.
They really need to fill some holes via free agency, but I honestly
don't know how many quality centers or point guards will be available.
The Bucks have said they will use their draft pick, so that won't be traded
away.  Like I said earlier, the only possible move they could make would be
to trade Baker or Robinson.  I think they will just have to hope for a gift
on the free agency market.

If you look beyond filling holes, you notice a general lack of chemistry on
the Bucks.  Since the Baker/Robinson team has had 3 years together, this is
sort of surprising.  If those 2 and Allen are kept next year, the Bucks
need to find a player that can get them all working together.  A big thing
to ask, but the Bucks really need help right now.

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