Bucks draft 18-year-old Tobias Harris at No. 19, Badger big man Jon Leuer at No. 40

Forwards — wings and college big forwards more likely to play small forward in the NBA — are John Hammond’s modus operandi in the draft.  He took three of them with his first six picks as Bucks GM, and now he’s drafted a fourth — Tobias Harris, who played a season at University of Tennessee.

Oddly enough, though, there’s little talk of him at Bucks Draft Central, not even a mention from Bucks scouting director Billy McKinney.  Harris worked out this past Tuesday (the 21st) with Marshon Brooks, Jon Leuer, Josh Selby (Kansas) and Chris Singleton (FSU).  Only Singleton was off the board when the Bucks selected.

Tobias HarrisTobias Harris – Tennessee – Freshman
7/15/92 – 6’8” – 226 lbs – Forward

  • Named Second-Team All-SEC by the league’s coaches, an SEC All-Freshman Team pick and USBWA Second Team Freshman All-American
  • Full-time starter in his freshman year, averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 29.2 minutes
  • As a high school senior, was a finalist for the Naismith High School Player of the Year Award

At the workout, Marshon Brooks, the leading scorer in the Big East and the 25th pick by the Celtics (then traded to New Jersey for Jujuan Johnson of Purdue and a 2012 second round pick), received most of the attention, the thinking being at the time that the Bucks were looking for a shooting guard.

Knicks fans in attendance at the draft were calling for Brooks as well, and, obviously the Celtics and the Nets were high enough on Brooks to draft him and then construct a trade over him.

After acquiring three guards in the trade with the Kings and Bobcats today (Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih and Shawn Livingston), the Bucks “shooting guard thinking” went out the window.

But still, not a single mention of Tobias Harris on the Bucks draft and workout resource.  I’m not sure what that means.

At 18 years old, Harris was the youngest American college player in the draft.

The Bobcats just took world-traveling big man Jeremy Tyler, making Jordan’s haul today Maggette, Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker and Tyler.

The Bucks are on the clock with the No. 40 pick.  There’s been talk of Jon Leuer for the Bucks in the second round…

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Leuer was the pick.  That’s a good choice for the Bucks – 6-11 big forward who can shoot, handle the ball, make plays and comes out of a defensive program.  No, he’s not an NBA defensive player, not yet, but you got the feeling the Bucks were hoping he might fall to No. 40 after he worked out on Tuesday with Harris and Brooks.

Jon Leuer – Wisconsin – Senior
5/14/89 – 6’10” – 228 lbs – Forward

  • Led Wisconsin with 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in his senior season; finished 12th in school history in career points (1,376)
  • Earned 2010-11 First-Team All-Big Ten honors and honorable mention AP All-American
  • Ranked fifth in the league in rebounding and third in free throw percentage (.843)

Here’s what Billy McKinney said about Leuer Tuesday.

“(There is) not much to dislike about Jon, the way he plays. Of course, being in our backyard, we’ve had an opportunity to watch him play quite a bit. We call him a stretch four that also has the ability to score out of the low post. He’s a little better athlete than people give him credit for, a little better shooter than people think he is. We like him. Of course, we’re not thinking about him with the 10th pick in the draft. Potentially, every guy here at the workout today has an opportunity to possibly go in the first round.”

I like the thinking here with Leuer.   The Bucks didn’t ovethink the 2nd round pick – they just scooped up a rangy, versatile big man who scored 18 a game and won in the Big Ten.  Some are going to dog Leuer over his Big Ten tourney game against Purdue and his poor game against Butler, but … that was March Madness.

Leuer’s game is too good to ignore, and picking him capped a very productive day in Bucks-land.

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