Busting Brackets

2024 NBA Draft: LA Lakers, Detroit Pistons, among biggest winners and losers

There was no shortage of headlines throughout the two-day event.
2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
5 of 7

Loser: Milwaukee Bucks and their questionable pick

In arguably the biggest head-turner in the first round, the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the basketball world, selecting AJ Johnson with the 23rd pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

What makes this pick perplexing is that Johnson, a former Texas commit who opted to play a year in Australia NBL, was projected to be a mid-to-late second-round selection, according to many NBA Mock Drafts. To make matters worse, Johnson is far from an NBA-ready prospect, meaning it can be two, three, or even four years until Johnson is ready to carve out a consistent role in the NBA.

Because Johnson is years removed from making his way toward the bright lights, it doesn’t seem to fit the timeline the Milwaukee Bucks are currently in, which is a “win now” approach. The Bucks let go of first-year head coach Adrian Griffin after just 43 games in favor of Doc Rivers to maximize their championship window -- a move that ultimately caused the Bucks to undergo an inconsistent finish before falling in the First Round.

The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA, meaning adding a long-term youthful piece makes sense on paper. However, the Bucks are still a team with championship aspirations, and adding AJ Johnson adds minimal impact on their championship-contending outlook.