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Zach Edey, Tyler Kolek and three other names to know connected to Milwaukee Bucks in mock drafts

We're three weeks away from the National Basketball Association draft, June 26-27, and the Milwaukee Bucks have the No. 23 pick in the draft.

It should be noted that the first-round pick — along with Milwaukee's second-round pick at No. 33 — are some of the Bucks' limited trade assets, but the picks can't be dealt until draft day. Just don't get too attached, but for now ...

The latest round of mock drafts have a different batch of names than what you would have found a month ago, but Purdue big man Zach Edey still makes the list as a potential Bucks draftee. Could Milwaukee leave the draft with perhaps the most high-profile player likely available in the 20s?

Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports connects Edey to the Bucks.

"The questions about Edey's NBA fit are valid, but there's no better player for him to learn from than Brook Lopez — and it doesn't hurt that Milwaukee is a hop, skip and a jump from Purdue," Ward-Henninger wrote. "In order to succeed, Edey will need to master the art of drop defense, which the Bucks have played for years with Lopez — a similarly slow-footed 7-plus-footer. Edey should block shots immediately, but the danger comes when he's out in space against NBA-level speed and shot-making. His offensive role is a bit murky, but he should be able to get a few touches here and there in the post, where he dominated in college."

Video: Potential Bucks draft target Tyler Kolek gets hot at NBA combine

On the other end of the positional spectrum, what about Marquette point guard Tyler Kolek? Though this particular mock draft is a couple weeks old, For The Win's Bryan Kalbrosky sees a world where the Bucks are involved.

"The Bucks would benefit from a reliable backup point guard and Marquette’s Tyler Kolek would provide exactly that," Kalbrosky wrote. "Twenty-four-point-six percent of his passes led directly to a shot, via Stats Perform, which is the most of any player included on the latest consensus big board. He also had the best Floor General Skills (FGS) of any player (minimum: 10 MPG) in the NCAA, according to Cerebro Sports."

Here are three other names to know as the draft draws closer.

Tyler Smith of G-League Ingite (right) battles with potential No. 1 overall pick Alex Sarr during a G-League fall invitational game Sept. 6, 2023.
Tyler Smith of G-League Ingite (right) battles with potential No. 1 overall pick Alex Sarr during a G-League fall invitational game Sept. 6, 2023.

Tyler Smith, power forward, G League Ignite

From Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report: "The Bucks will always look for ways to maximize their spacing as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo resides in the Badger State. Tyler Smith would not only bring another shot-maker to Milwaukee, but he'd also do so as a 6'9" forward with a 7'1" wingspan.

"He may never become more than a role player, but given the Bucks' challenges of finding consistency from their support pieces—and limited means of acquiring them as an over-the-apron big-spender — they'd be thrilled to turn this pick into a reliable shooter with plenty of defensive tools."

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report also selected Smith for the Bucks.

"Tyler Smith didn’t shoot as well at the combine as the Ignite highlights and numbers suggest he could," Wasserman wrote. "It won’t mean much unless he struggles through workouts. Shotmaking is the main draw to Smith, who measured 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot wingspan.

"Limited evidence of him putting the ball down may keep teams from seeing paths to upside. Regardless, midway through the first round, interest will start to build in a stretch big with strong tools and athleticism for play-finishing around the basket."

Indiana Hoosiers center Kel'el Ware (1) shoots the ball while Michigan State Spartans forward Jaxon Kohler (0) defends in the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Indiana Hoosiers center Kel'el Ware (1) shoots the ball while Michigan State Spartans forward Jaxon Kohler (0) defends in the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Kel'el Ware, center, Indiana

If Edey isn't the call, there might be another center who fits the bill, as selected by Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN.

"The Bucks have needs at several positions and will likely be opportunistic depending on which player falls to No. 23," Givony wrote. "Center is certainly one of them, with 36-year-old Brook Lopez entering the final year of his contract.

"Ware, who is ranked No. 25 in ESPN's Top 100, has done a good job of addressing some of the red flags in his profile from his time at Oregon with stronger-than-expected interviews and background intel, helping to solidify his standing in the first round. He has elite physical tools and brings intriguing potential at 7-1 with his ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim."

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Carlton Carrington (7) drives to the basket as North Carolina Tar Heels forward Jalen Washington (13) defends Friday in the first half at Capital One Arena in Washington.
Pittsburgh Panthers guard Carlton Carrington (7) drives to the basket as North Carolina Tar Heels forward Jalen Washington (13) defends Friday in the first half at Capital One Arena in Washington.

Carlton Carrington, point guard, Pittsburgh

David Cobb of CBS provides an alternative point guard to Kolek.

"Carrington flew under the radar as a freshman on a Pitt team that missed the NCAA Tournament," Cobb wrote. "But he made an impression on scouts with his late-season surge. He was a former top-100 prospect, and he was smart to enter the draft pool while his stock was high in a relatively weak class. He's the type of long-term play that could look like a steal four years from now."

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Zach Edey? Tyler Kolek? Mock drafts make picks for Bucks