Bucks Draft Adds Depth, Fills Needs
The Milwaukee Bucks continued to piece together missing links on Thursday night, drafting North Carolina forward John Henson with the 14th overall pick and Kentucky guard Doron Lamb in the second round with the 42d pick.
Many believed the Bucks would go with a wing player in the first round after acquiring starting center Samuel Dalembert in a pre-draft trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. But with guards Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut and Terrence Ross of Washington off the board, Milwaukee opted to take the best player on their board in Henson, a dynamic shot blocker and rebounder who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Henson averaged 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game this past season for the Tar Heels. The 6-10, 216-pound forward will need to bulk up in order to hold his weight with the best power forwards in the league, but displays the natural athleticism and defensive star potential of Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, who was a key cog in the Thunder’s run to the NBA Finals.
The forward’s stock was hit by his relatively undeveloped offensive skills. He has added a left-handed jump hook and shows the ability to make shots from mid-range, but will need to get stronger in order to score effectively from the post.
With Dalembert, Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, and Henson in the fold, there should be no lack of big-man basket protectors on a Bucks team that struggled toward the end of last season in guarding the hoop, allowing several 110-plus point performances.
Milwaukee has hit on diamonds in the rough in the second round before with the likes of Michael Redd, Ramon Sessions, and Jodie Meeks and the Bucks might have pulled off another steal with the selection of Lamb.
A member of the Wildcats’ 2012 National Championship team, the 6’4 Lamb displays the ability to become a combo guard in the NBA, while primarily playing shooting guard during his two collegiate seasons. Widely regarded as the second-best pure shooter in the draft behind Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins, Lamb is the consistent perimeter sharpshooter the Bucks have lacked at the guard position. He shot 46.6% from behind the arc this past season and 82.6% from the free throw line, while averaging 13.7 points per game.
What the stats won’t tell the average fan about Lamb is that he doesn’t force shots – something the Bucks did too many times last season late in games. With Lamb backing up Monta Ellis in the backcourt, the Bucks have a pair of combo guards who should complement Brandon Jennings’s ability to create shots.
Though decisions loom in the near future with how to approach the free agency situation with Ersan Ilyasova and perhaps upgrading the small forward position, the Bucks added solid depth and increased the talent level on the roster with this draft and the Dalembert trade and defense should lead the way once again in 2013.