May 26, 2005
Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have won the NBA draft lottery, general manager Larry Harris, head coach Terry Porter and Co. are on the clock.
The big question is, will the Bucks go for potential at No. 1 or for a player who will likely have a more immediate impact? Marvin Williams, the 18-year-old freshman out of North Carolina, has tremendous upside. Yes, the draft these days is about potential, potential, potential, baby!
|Andrew Bogut was a solid contributor for Australia during the 2004 Olympics.|
But Mr. Potential has gotten a lot of NBA coaches fired.
Then there's a guy who could instantly be a positive contributor: Utah's Andrew Bogut. The 7-foot sophomore center can be a force up front in the NBA while making his teammates better with his impressive passing skills (especially for a big man).
By the time Williams develops, Porter might not be around as the Bucks' coach. Someone else might reap the benefits of Marvin's development down the line.
Milwaukee, make the right call when you hand the card to commissioner David Stern, and write down the name Bogut.
Yes, Williams is viewed as a potential superstar. But Bogut is ready now, and in this day and age, it's all about "What have you done for me lately?" The Utah star is an inside post player with terrific offensive skills. The 20-year-old big man has shown tremendous instincts when facing the double-team, displaying great passing ability.
Bogut also has a nice touch around the basket. He can flat-out rebound and would provide an immediate plus for the Bucks.
As a diaper dandy for the Tar Heels, Williams showed flashes of brilliance last season. There were moments when he amazed as he helped North Carolina capture the national championship in St. Louis. But while he was dazzling at times, he disappeared at other times.
Williams still hasn't learned how to play in the framework of 5-on-5 basketball, to understand the nuances of the game. Will he eventually be a great player? I don't think there's any doubt about that.
Still, if the Bucks want a guy who will make a contribution right away, they should draft Bogut. If I'm the GM making that call, I'd take the Utah big man for sure. There aren't many bona fide centers coming into the NBA these days.
Yes, Williams could be a star, but Bogut will be a standout right away, baby! Milwaukee needs to build now, not just go for potential.
My predicted top five NBA draft picks
Right now, here's my prediction for the top five picks in the draft (subject to change):
1. Milwaukee Bucks Andrew Bogut | Utah
2. Atlanta Hawks Marvin Williams | North Carolina
3. Portland Trail Blazers Gerald Green | Gulf Shores Academy (high school, Houston)
4. New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul | Wake Forest
5. Charlotte Bobcats Deron Williams | Illinois
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.