Bucks press on with draft prep with sale pending

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks are moving on with the business of getting ready for the draft while they wait for the NBA to weigh in on the pending sale of the team.

A league-worst 15-67 record earned Milwaukee the best odds for securing the top pick in the draft lottery. On Friday, the team began working out less-heralded prospects, including former Wisconsin guard Ben Brust and former Marquette guard Jake Thomas.

“We had an ownership change?” Dave Babcock, the Bucks’ vice president of player personnel, said jokingly when asked about the impact of the tentative $550 million sale from Herb Kohl to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens.

In addition to one of the first four picks, the Bucks also have three second-round picks, which makes summer league roster spots harder to come by. “With four draft picks and we’ve got some young guys that are going to play for us that are already on our team, so we’ll have to see how that goes,” Babcock said.

Brust and Thomas hope to use the workout process as a springboard to continuing their basketball careers, whether it be the ultimate goal of an NBA roster or overseas.

“I’m realistic. I don’t think the Bucks are taking me with their first pick,” said the 6-foot-3 Thomas, who started 30 of 32 games last season for Marquette. Thomas, from Racine, averaged 7.9 points and shot 39 percent from beyond the arc. “But, if they did, I would gladly accept.”

Brust, the only graduating senior who played significant minutes on the Badgers’ Final Four team, said he hopes to work out for more teams.

“I’m up and willing to do anything,” Brust said. “The more people you get to meet, the more chances you have to impress somebody and get to know people. It’s never a bad thing to go anywhere across the country and get to play basketball.”

Babcock said Brust and Thomas are likely looking at starting their professional careers overseas.

“Down the road, stranger things have happened where a guy has played overseas for a few years. I mean, Ben can really shoot it. You never say never to a shooter,” Babcock said.

Also working out Friday were Taylor Braun, a 6-foot-7 forward from North Dakota State who was the Summit League Player of the Year, and Mike Moser, a 6-foot-8 forward from Oregon.