Considering the uncertainty surrounding their shooting guard position for next season, it’s almost a forgone conclusion the Milwaukee Bucks will select a two guard in the upcoming NBA draft.
Bucks officials interviewed a slew of shooting guard prospects at the recent pre-draft camp in Chicago and will bring in several of them for workouts prior to the June 24 draft.
One of them is Jordan Crawford, who played last season at Xavier University. The 6-foot-4 Crawford had a banner sophomore season for the Musketeers, averaging 20.5 points a game.
Crawford was nothing short of exceptional in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 29 points in three games. He totaled 32 points against Kansas State.
Many NBA scouts weren’t caught off guard by Crawford’s highly-productive season. They were well aware of his myriad of talents when he was a freshman at Indiana University.
That’s when he had some memorable practices against then Hoosiers guard Eric Gordon, who wound up being the seventh overall selection in the 2008 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Some people who witnessed those Indiana workouts swear Crawford was often as good or better than Gordon.
"I heard that from time to time from players on the team, saying stuff like that,’’ Crawford said. "I really wanted to compete against him.
"He was the best player on the team, so every day in practice I wanted to go at him.’’
Nobody expects Crawford to be drafted as high as Gordon was, but there are some teams that are convinced he’s a first-round talent. Few expect him to be drafted any lower than the middle of the second round.
The Bucks, who have the 15th overall pick in the first round and two picks in the second round — Nos. 37 and 47 — will take a serious look at Crawford Tuesday when they resume pre-draft workouts at the Cousins Center.
Crawford said he’s excited about working out for the Bucks coaches, particularly assistant Kelvin Sampson, who was his coach at Indiana University.
Crawford credits Sampson for helping him stay focused on basketball.
"I love Kelvin Sampson; he’s a great coach and person,’’ Crawford said. "Coach Sampson helped me mature a lot coming from high school to college.
"I was still rough around the edges. I was young and immature and he really helped me grow as a player and person.’’
Evan Turner said he didn’t have to look very far for a role model.
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, and then attending Ohio State, Turner said he’s always admired Bucks veteran shooting guard Michael Redd, a Columbus native himself who also went on to star for the Buckeyes.
"Mike’s an ideal guy,’’ said Turner, who is expected to be the No. 2 overall selection behind John Wall in the draft. "He worked his way up to where he is. He earned everything he’s got.
"He’s a good guy, a real good guy. Everybody loves Mike.’’
Turner said he had dinner with Redd a couple of weeks ago and they discussed a variety of topics, including Redd’s second-favorite sport, golf.
They also talked about Redd’s recovery.
Redd is rehabbing from anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament tears. It’s the second straight offseason in which Redd is recovering from knee surgery.
Some reporters have speculated Redd won’t ever play again, but Turner dismissed that talk.
"He’s doing well,’’ Turner said of Redd. "He might be ready by July, but I think he’s going to sit out a little bit longer.
"He came back too early last season and messed up the knee and he doesn’t want that to happen again.’’
Redd played only 18 games last season before getting injured in a game against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Jan. 10. Redd averaged just 11.9 points and shot 35 percent from the field.
However, in the three games leading up to the injury, Redd performed at a high level. He scored 24 points against Chicago and 27 against Oklahoma City as the Bucks won three straight games.
Bogut steps up
Bucks center Andrew Bogut flew from Australia to Milwaukee the other day and had the cast on his right arm removed.
Bogut then hosted a spirited party Tuesday night for approximately 70 members of his highly-entertaining "Squad 6’’ cheering squadron at Fanatics, a Milwaukee sports bar.
Bogut not only picked up the tab but he spent more than three hours mingling with "Squad 6’’ members.
Bogut said he was delighted by "Squad 6’’ in its inaugural season and has hopes of expanding membership to around 150 for next season.
Besides Crawford, another shooting guard the Bucks will work out Tuesday is Dominique Jones of South Florida, who impressed at the Minnesota group workouts. ... While there was a report the Chicago Bulls had an interest in talking to Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson about their vacant head coaching position, the Bulls have yet to request permission from the Bucks to talk to him. ... One of the draft’s fastest climbers is Baylor power forward Ekpe Udoh, who is drawing more than a passing interest from New Jersey at No. 3. ... I’m told the Bulls want to hit a home run with their new coach and are hoping to land a proven successful coach like Doc Rivers or just-fired Cleveland coach Mike Brown. ... Former Wisconsin standout Brian Butch is guaranteed $762,000 from the Denver Nuggets if they decide to retain his services past Aug. 15. ... The whispers are growing that the New York Knicks will purchase a first-round pick. ... I recently asked a well-informed individual what percentage he would put on a lockout starting next summer and, without hesitation, he responded 100 percent.