There were some observers who felt the Milwaukee Bucks would have seriously considered selecting Ivan Rabb if he had decided to remain in the 2016 NBA draft. But Rabb, a talented all-around power forward, opted to return to the University of California for his second season and the Bucks, with the 10th overall, wound up choosing center-power forward Thon Maker.
October 19, 2017 | 2:16 pm EDT Update
How serious do you think (Hawks GM) Travis Schlenk is about trading Dennis Schroder? And what might those trades look like? Here’s one thing I know about Travis Schlenk: He wants nothing to do with long-term contracts. Schlenk craves flexibility, and his early moves – trading Howard, making little effort to retain Paul Millsap – tell me he’s thinking well into the future. Schroder is a little different though. There’s legitimate talent there, which can’t be dismissed. But more importantly, there is no real market for him. I ran Schroder’s name by a few team executives this week, and each recoiled. There’s a toxicity surrounding Schroder right now. A reputation as a selfish player has gained significant traction throughout the league. His arrest on battery charges last month – an incident the Hawks have deemed “unacceptable” – is an example teams cite of his immaturity. Said a Western Conference executive: “I don’t need that kind of headache.” Perhaps Atlanta could give Schroder away. But at 24, Schroder is a terrific talent. Maybe the Hawks can work with him and hope he matures. Really, they don’t have much of a choice.
SLAM: Luka Doncic blew up over the summer and he’s getting a lot of love as the potential top pick in the 2018 draft. What did you think about his game? KP: What he’s doing at 18, I’ve never seen a player in Europe do that. He’s one of the leaders for Real Madrid and he’s being very consistent—he’s not playing one game great and then playing the next poorly as most young guys do, as I did myself. He’s being very consistent and that has surprised me the most. What he’s doing at the top level of Europe, I believe that he should be the No. 1 pick.
SLAM: From our perspective in the US, all we’ve really seen from him are clips on Twitter and random games. But as someone who has played against him, you think he’s the real deal? KP: I do, I do. I’m judging it based on the highest level of playing in Europe, which is very tough to do. Another story is how is it going to translate to the NBA. Guys who are killing it in Europe don’t always come over to the NBA and have success right away. Myself, for example, I wasn’t a huge star like Luka is right now in Spain. But I came over and it was easy to adapt and translate my game to the NBA. For guards, I think it’s always a little harder. He may need a little bit of time, but based on what he’s doing in Europe, I think there’s no college guy who would be able to do what he’s doing in the EuroLeague at that level right now.