The last time the Milwaukee Bucks picked a guard in the first round of the NBA draft, they plucked point guard Brandon Jennings with the No. 10 pick in 2009. Jennings became an instant starter and contributor. Since then they have opted for three frontcourt players - Larry Sanders at No. 15 in 2010, Tobias Harris after trading down from No. 10 to No. 19 in 2011 and John Henson after trading down two spots to No. 14 last summer. Harris was traded to Orlando during the past season but the 6-foot-11 Sanders and 6-11 Henson remain vital parts of the Bucks future. So don't be surprised to see the Bucks looking for backcourt help with the No. 15 selection, the first non-lottery pick in the June 27 draft. The Bucks brain trust, including general manager John Hammond and assistant general manager Jeff Weltman, sat front and center at the Attack Athletics facility Thursday to size up prospects at the annual NBA draft combine. And they had a chance to watch several players who might be available when Milwaukee's turn comes up on draft night. Among them were Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Miami point guard Shane Larkin and D-League sensation Glen Rice Jr. All three players confirmed they had interviews with Bucks officials on Wednesday night as part of the combine process. Larkin, the son of former Cincinnati Reds shortstop and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, left Miami after his sophomore season to enter the draft. "Everybody says my height is going to hurt me in the NBA," said the 5-11 Larkin. "If you look at Chris Paul, Ty Lawson, J.J. Barea, Jameer Nelson, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, they're all smaller guys that made a career in basketball and made millions of dollars playing basketball. "They make up for it with their IQ and with their aggressiveness and their toughness." The 20-year-old Larkin is considered a mid-first-round pick and is ranked No. 20 on ESPN.com's list of prospects, while Caldwell-Pope is ranked No. 13 and Rice is No. 18. Caldwell-Pope is a 6-5 shooting guard as is Rice, who averaged 25 points and 9.5 rebounds for Rio Grande Valley during the playoffs as he led the team to the D-League title. Larkin said he was impressed with Bucks officials in his meeting with them on Wednesday. "It seemed like a family atmosphere there," Larkin said. "I'm really interested in them and they want me to come up there and work out." Caldwell-Pope is considered an excellent shooter and thought he performed well in the shooting drills at the combine Thursday. He left Georgia after two seasons and has been working out in Los Angeles for the last five weeks to prepare for the draft.
Bucks could be looking for backcourt help in draft
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 18