The Milwaukee Bucks select Kevon Looney from UCLA with the 19th pick.
From Brew Hoop: Kevon Looney wasn't my first choice for the Bucks coming into the draft; alas, my hopes of trading up for Myles Turner (#9) or Frank Kaminsky (#13) didn't materialize (FOR NOW!), while Bobby Portis (#15) also proved *slightly* out of reach. But while the latter three would have given the Bucks a major boost in terms of skill and versatility at the 4/5 positions, the 19-year-old Looney still has the look of a very good value play at #19.
Combining a rebound-devouring motor with freaky length (7'3" wingspan) and an intriguing two-way skillset, the Milwaukee native has plenty of room to grow and wouldn't face the pressure of contributing immediately for a Bucks team that already has a fairly full roster. On paper he might seem somewhat redundant with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Damien Inglis already on the roster, but Looney's length and defensive versatility fit well with the Bucks' pressuring and switching system. And the fact that he's a local kid only one year removed from being the top high school prospect in the state of Wisconsin? Consider it sentimental gravy.
Looney made a name for himself in the NCAA tournament
. I thought he had a so-so regular season and Pac-12 tournament
. I thought he would be a bit better during the regular season, but he turned it on when it counted the most. He’s only 6’9" and a soft 220 pounds.
He displayed a huge amount of toughness playing days after getting his nose broken. He’s got an amazing wingspan (7’4"), but again he’s not that athletic. It is a need for the Bucks and Looney gets to play in front of his friends and family in Milwaukee.
Would love to see him tone up a bit more and add some muscle. Be interesting to see how the Bucks play him with Parker and Giannis.
Dontae: Let me set the correct expectations. At this point in a draft, you should not be hoping for a star. Instead you want high level starters or role players that can contribute in meaningful ways. Kevon Looney is exactly the type of value pick you want at this point in the draft.
Looney has been compared to Lamar Odom amongst other NBA players. Looking at his game you can see why. He's a solid rebounder, can space the floor from the perimeter, he can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim (straight-line drives), he moves well on defense, and with a positive assist to turnover ratio he possess playmaking potential.
The bigger issue is his fit on this Bucks team. With Parker taking the majority of the minutes at the 4 spot, and Giannis playing there when the Bucks go small, there may not be a solid roll for Looney. He's not athletic enough or big enough to play the small ball center position, making this a somewhat questionable pick for this squad.
Taylor: I'm with Dontae on this one. Ever since all the mock drafts starting listing the Bucks taking a big man, I wondered why. They have Parker, O'Bryant, Antetokounmpo, Inglis, Henson, and Dudley in the rotation and the forward positions. This pick would be better suited for a backup shooting guard in my opinion, perhaps an R.J. Hunter. Looney is a talented player, but needs to bulk up to play the 4 position. He should be a popular player for the Bucks, being a Milwaukee native and also for his hard work on both ends of the floor. He's a good passer for his size and can hit the mid-range jumper. A good pick at #19, but again, I'm not sure of the fit.
Lucas: The Bucks established their identity as a young, scrappy and incredibly long team under new head coach Jason Kidd last season, and Kevon Looney fits into that mold well. Looney is a versatile 6’9" power forward, who is comfortable handling the ball from the high post, and is also comfortable scoring down low. Looney’s 7’3" wingspan should help him defend the rim, and given time, he should be able to improve his foot speed and defend away from the hoop. Looney is a pretty big project, he only weighs 222 pounds, and needs to add 20-30 pounds of muscle to be able to handle NBA power forwards. He also looked to be run down by the end of the season last year, which might be a red flag. Still, Looney has a high ceiling, and should be able to sit behind John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo and develop his game.
The Wizards get back Ersan Ilyasova, who at this point seems like a reclamation project. However, if a change of scenery is what Ersan needs to get his NBA career back on track and he rediscovers his ability to knock down threes, he should be a nice fit with John Wall, and Bradley Beal, and should help space the floor for Marcin Gortat, and the entire Wizards team.
Editor's note: This trade was made before the real-life Ilyasova-to-Detroit trade. So could you just... okay?