There was a strong feeling that the Milwaukee Bucks would draft some size to help replenish their frontcourt after losing Larry Sanders last year and Ersan Ilyasova a few weeks ago. But while big man depth was (and is) a need for Milwaukee, it’s not the only place where improvement was necessary. They also needed someone who could help them knock down some shots, which is why they ultimately selected UNLV freshman Rashad Vaughn.
A McDonald’s All-American just a year ago, Vaughn came into his freshman season at UNLV as one of the most promising two-guard prospects in college basketball. Things were going swimmingly, with Vaughn averaging over 18 PPG, when he tore his meniscus and was forced to miss the last third of the season.
That knee injury may have given Milwaukee a slight discount on a guy who could easily have been a lottery pick had he not come out of last season injured. There isn’t much separating him and Devin Booker, frankly, as both players are raw two-guard prospects at about the same size with high ceilings, but still a lot to prove.
In Milwaukee however, with that young core, there’s time for Vaughn to mature a little and come into himself as a pro. He’s not especially big or especially athletic, but at pick #17 he’s a kid with a reasonably high ceiling.
Vaughn did awesome in his workouts, but was pegged to be drafted somewhere in the 20s, if not the early second-round. Fully healthy, though, he’s an exciting prospect that should help the Bucks find the bottom of the bucket more often than they did a year ago. He also serves as insurance for Khris Middleton, should his restricted free agency take him elsewhere, though a source close to the Bucks is confident Middleton will be back.
Either way, Vaughn is a reasonable reach here, though hometown stud Sam Dekker or animalistic big man Bobby Portis might have been more immediately fruitful selections. Long-term, though, Vaughn fits Kidd’s system and is an exciting prospect for the team moving forward.
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