By Jack Knowlton
The Milwaukee Bucks have not exactly had the best luck in the NBA draft after 2013. 2013 of course is the year the Bucks selected a lanky kid from Greece who has since turned into a 2-time MVP. Since then, the Bucks’ draft selections are either no longer with the team or play a limited role. Two exceptions are Malcolm Brogdan in 2017, who did win ROY but no longer plays his trade in Milwaukee, and Donte DiVincenzo, the Bucks’ 2018 first-round choice who is expected to see an increased role following the departure of Eric Bledsoe.
That being said, 2020 may be different. With no pick in the first round, the Bucks used one of their two second-round picks on Lousiville star Jordan Nwora. The 6-7 small forward spent three years in Louisville and put up impressive scoring numbers with 18.0 ppg, over 40% shooting from the three-point line, and an 81% mark from the free-throw line, a number that has improved dramatically over his three years in college. Scoring is his main asset and the element of his game that should transition to the NBA level the quickest. Nwora loves to catch and shoot, something that can fit into the offense well if he can find open spots for a kick out from someone like Giannis driving to the basket. He also works well in pick-and-pop situations which can work well with Jrue Holiday and other guards.
Nwora also has some defensive potential. In his final season at Louisville he averaged 0.7 steals and works well in transition, an area where the Bucks shine. Nwora held a 54.7% field goal percentage in transition in his final year with Louisville and, if that can transition (pun intended) to the next level, he should be able to work well providing good defensive cover and getting out on the break offensively. Nwora is best when defending less speedy guards, so he may struggle in one-on-one situations but should be solid in overall team defense and great at leaking out in transition.
The Bucks should have Nwora focus on being a pure 3-D guy rather than a shot creator or slashing type small forward. Nwora struggled to score at the basket and at the moment lacks some explosiveness when driving. Nwora won’t be a guy looking to drive the basketball himself; rather, he will be a kick out or pick and roll/pick and pop option to create looks he makes at a more consistent rate.
Nwora is a very good shooter with solid measurables for his position and shouldn’t have too many problems transitioning to the NBA level. How the Bucks utilize Nwora and surround him with players that can get him the ball so he doesn’t have to rely on a poor shot selection or get to the rim himself has yet to be seen. With a lack of depth following the Jrue Holiday trade the Bucks will need someone to be a knockdown shooter, decent defender, and hardworking in transition scorer off the bench. Nwora fits that build, and I see him being a solid scoring option and a project that the Bucks should invest in.
Edited by Emma Moloney