In 2021, the Milwaukee Bucks fell short of their sky-high expectations. After winning the NBA title in 2021, the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Chris Middleton’s injury proved too serious to handle Boston’s elite defense. This shouldn’t be seen as a disappointment given that the Celtics are currently heading head to head with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Regardless, Milwaukee will focus on improving next season. One of the ways they’ll try to do that is with the 24th pick they have in the draft. Giannis Antetokounmpo is only 27 years old and has many more years of high-level basketball ahead of him. It’s a pretty deep draft with several promising players who could have a positive impact on the Bucks. However, here are a few names that the franchise should avoid when choosing.
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3 players the Bucks should avoid in the 2022 NBA draft
Ryan Rollins as Toledo security guard
Ryan Rollins, a 6ft 3in Toledo guard, burst onto the NBA scene with his impressive sophomore performance. He averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals. He improved almost every statistical category from his first year to his second year. Rollins has good passing flair and a high basketball IQ. He dropped his turnover per game from 2.4 in his freshman year to 2.2 in his sophomore year. The Toledo product hits the basket well and has an impressive ability to get past bigger defenders. Rollins also has a very intriguing 6ft 10in wingspan that will help him do his job on defense.
It is always difficult to judge young schoolchildren. Ryan Rollins played a very important role in Toledo’s ball game, but it probably wouldn’t have been at a bigger school and certainly wouldn’t have been at the NBA level. Rollins has shot just 31.1% on three-point attempts this season, slightly less than his freshman year. It’s not a terrible percentage, but most of his game is based on attacking the ring. This worries defensemen in the NBA, especially if Rollins plays alongside Giannis. While he’s fun to watch and hopefully finds his place in the league, his shooting development could be a factor in whether he sinks or swims.
Kennedy Chandler – Tennessee Guardsman
Kennedy Chandler, a 6’1″ point guard from Tennessee, was a fun player to watch in college. He made a big impression in his only college season. Chandler was named to the All-SEC Second Team, All-SEC All-Freshman First Team, and was named SEC Tournament MVP. For his 34 games at Chandler College averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. The Tennessee quarterback is a high-IQ player who constantly makes correct readings. He is a true gender general with an intriguing athleticism. Chandler is good at manipulating the defense, excellent driving and kicking.
While there is something to like about his game, his suitability for the Bucks is questionable. Kennedy Chandler has a short build and has a hard time finishing. He lacks in-between play and given his size, adding a float would be very helpful in his game. He’s made an impressive 38.3 percent of threes this year, though some scouts are still skeptical about his shot. Chandler hit just 60.6% on the free throw line, which is a major concern. The biggest problem with its shape is that the Tennessee product may need the ball too much to be effective in the Bucks system. Reserve declarer is a necessary position, but this choice is better used for another purpose.
Jaden Hardy – Guard G-League Ignite
It was once a big surprise that Jaden Hardy could still be on the board with the 24th of spades. The former high school rookie number two was highly praised but fell short of expectations with the G-League Ignite. Hardy showed several positives and averaged 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. The 19-year-old has intriguing shooting potential and an impressive ability to create his own shots.
While Hardy may well have a bright future, he is further in the development process than currently expected. He lacks the Elite Burst you’re hoping for and can gain Tunnel Vision on offense. Hardy has shot just 37.9% from the field and 30.9% from threes this season. He also threw just 39.3% into the basket at half court. Its staff turnover of 28.1% is also extremely worrisome.
The best path forward for Jaden Hardy is a team where he can play and learn from his mistakes. The Bucks are once again pinning their hopes on the title this coming season and can’t afford to give him that chance. While attractive as a scorer off the bench, Hardy has too many red flags for the role. The Bucks are better off looking elsewhere and avoiding these three players.