Even the most casual Milwaukee Bucks fan knows that their favorite team’s biggest need is a certifiable center.
After trading Andrew Bogut to the Golden State Warriors in March, the Bucks relied on Drew Gooden and Larry Sanders — both natural power forwards — to fill the void. They weren’t the answer.
Don't expect the Bucks to find the answer to their center questions in the June 28th NBA draft, either. There are only two legit centers — Andre Drummond of Connecticut and Illinois’ Leonard Meyers — and neither one will likely be on the board when the Bucks make the 12th overall selection.
If that happens, the Bucks are likely to focus on drafting an athletic wing, one who could provide some scoring punch off the bench.
Here’s a quick look at how the top 14 picks — the Lottery selections — could unfold:
1. New Orleans — Anthony Davis, power forward, Kentucky. Davis is unequivocally the best player in the draft.
2. Charlotte — Andre Drummond, center, Connecticut. The Bobcats need another big man in the worst way. Drummond is raw but has unlimited potential.
3. Washington — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, small forward, Kentucky. The defensively-challenged Wizards need a stopper and they need a quality three.
4. Cleveland — Bradley Beal, shooting guard, Florida. Teamed with Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, the Cavs would have one of the most dynamics backcourt in the league for years to come.
5. Sacramento — Thomas Robinson, power forward, Kansas. Robinson would be the perfect complement to center DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Portland — Harrison Barnes, small forward, North Carolina. The Blazers have more pressing needs — a center and point guard, for example — but it’s not a slam dunk free-agent small forward Nicolas Batum will be back.
7. Golden State — Jared Sullinger, power forward, Ohio State. The Warriors would love to snare Barnes and fill their most glaring weak spot, but Sullinger would give them a nice safety net for Bogut and David Lee up front.
8. Toronto — Damian Lillard, point guard, Weber State. The Raptors are another team that cold use a top-flight small forward, but taking the wildly-inconsistent Perry Jones III of Baylor is too big of a risk at this point.
9. Detroit — Tyler Zeller, power forward, North Carolina. The Pistons want to shore up their frontline.
10. New Orleans — Austin Rivers, combo guard, Duke. Bringing Rivers and Davis on board in this draft, to go along with star shooting guard Eric Gordon, could instantly make the Jazz one of the more entertaining teams to watch.
11. Portland — Meyers Leonard, center, Illinois. The Blazers are desperate for a center and Leonard, while far from a polished gem, is fundamentally sound and athletic.
12. MILWAUKEE — Jeremy Lamb, shooting guard, Connecticut. The Bucks have a big-time shooting guard in Monta Ellis but Lamb, while somewhat “soft’’ on defense, is an outstanding offensive talent and probably one of the top eight players in the draft. He would be awfully hard for the Bucks to pass up.
13. Phoenix — Moe Harkless, small forward, St. John’s. Harkless’ stock is rising. He’s an incredible athlete and has a huge upside. Plus, Grant Hill isn’t getting any younger.
14. Houston — Dion Waiters, combo guard, Syracuse. A poor man’s Dwyane Wade. Seemingly can get his shot whenever he desires.