Milwaukee Focuses On Point Guards In Star Studded Workout
The Milwaukee Bucks’ draft preparation once again turned to the point guard position on Monday when Brandon Jennings was joined by Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague, and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson in a highly-anticipated workout.
St. Francis -- The Milwaukee Bucks’ draft preparation once again turned to the point guard position on Monday when Brandon Jennings was joined by Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague, and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson in a highly-anticipated workout.
With just over 72 hours before the Draft, Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney reiterated that point guard is a position the team would like to address.
“We’ve been serious about it (drafting a point guard) all along,” McKinney said. “The positions we feel that we have to fill would be our power forward position and the point guards, and we had four of the top point guards in the Draft here in the building today and it was a great workout.”
Choosing his words carefully, McKinney said “Each of them had their moments.”
When comparing Jennings and Flynn -- who are expected to be drafted before Teague and Lawson -- it may be difficult to measure them against one another given the drastically different brands of basketball that the two played last year.
Jennings made headlines when he decided to sign with Lottomatica Virtus Roma, a professional basketball team in Italy, instead of playing college basketball at Arizona. His playing time was sporadic as he averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 assists in Italian League games and 7.6 points and 1.6 assists in Euroleague play.
“No regrets at all,” Jennings said of his decision to play overseas. “It was a great experience. I got to play professional basketball for a whole year. I got to play in the EuroLeague, second best from the NBA, and got to play against a lot of great talent. I was probably quicker than the Europeans, but they were stronger. It was really good for me though. I got beat up a whole lot.”
Jennings sprained his left thumb during the workout when he jammed it into Teague and mentioned how much more physical the European style of play is than the NBA.
“We get to hand-check over there and do some illegal stuff,” Jennings said. “Here we really can’t. Every time I defend somebody I’m hearing the coach telling me ‘hands off, hands off.’”
Flynn played two full seasons at Syracuse under the national spotlight, starting all 73 games during his tenure with Coach Jim Boeheim and averaging more than 17 points and six assists per game.
“I think my first passion is getting people the ball,” Flynn said of his game translating to the NBA. “I love creating shots for guys and you’re gonna really see this at the next level. I think at Syracuse if I would’ve averaged 10 points a game we wouldn’t have won a lot of games and I wouldn’t be here right now.”
McKinney described Flynn as being “tough as nails, with good leadership, and defense-oriented.”
The Jennings-Flynn match-up has been nothing new for the two sure-fire lottery picks, as Milwaukee was their fourth workout together by Jennings’ account (“six or seven,” according to Flynn), with one more tomorrow in New Jersey.
“Me and Jonny Flynn have been working out together for a while now,” Jennings said. “We’re trying to show teams what we can do. It’s been good though because he’s real competitive and he likes to get after it.”
Flynn added, “We’re like traveling buddies going everywhere together.”
Having previously worked out Jrue Holiday of UCLA and Eric Maynor of Virginia Commonwealth, the Bucks have seen almost all of the point guards who could be available to them with the tenth overall pick.
“(Stephen) Curry was invited (to work out today),” McKinney said, “but he declined because I don’t think he will get to 10. If he does I think we’d all be happy with that.”
With the Bucks missing the playoffs for the past three seasons, McKinney said the staff is evaluating the players’ potential as well as their ability to contribute right away.
“Our mindset has been here if we draft a player we expect him to come in and play and that player has to have that mentality as well,” McKinney said. “A guy like Brandon Jennings has a tremendous amount of upside, but all the players we brought in today we feel have great upside.
“With the tenth pick we feel like we’re going to get a really good player.”
Despite not being considered top ten picks by most draft experts, Teague and Lawson showed that they too may sneak into the lottery in a point guard-heavy draft.
McKinney said, “Lawson showed us some things today that he didn’t show during the course of his career with North Carolina in terms of being able to create shots off the dribble. He is the consummate point guard.”
After coming back from an injury to his knee during a workout with Minnesota, Teague also impressed.
“Teague is a tremendously talented player that can play both guard positions,” McKinney said. “He has the ability to create shots off the dribble for himself or his teammates.”
If the Bucks do not draft a point guard on Thursday it will most likely be because Jordan Hill of Arizona fell to them at number 10. But the chances of this happening seem slim, with Holiday and Flynn being the most speculated names to land in Milwaukee, depending on which of the two is still on the board.