NBA Draft: Bucks pick guard AJ Johnson, forward Tyler Smith

AJ Johnson shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted 23rd overall by the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft on June 26. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Bucks selected AJ Johnson with the 23rd overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft on Wednesday, June 26, and Tyler Smith, 33rd overall pick, on Thursday, June 27.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 guard, spent the 2023-24 season with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League as part of its Next Stars program.

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The 19-year-old appeared in 26 games with the Hawks in his first professional season.

A native of Fresno, California, Johnson was a four-star recruit in the 2023 class coming out of Southern California Academy before opting to participate in the NBL’s Next Stars program.

Meanwhile, a 6-9 forward, Smith played in 43 games last season with NBA G League Ignite and averaged 13.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.2 minutes per game while shooting 47.4% from the field and 36.0% from three. 

The 19-year-old reached double figures in scoring 31 times last season, including seven games scoring 20+ points, and participated in the NBA Rising Stars and NBA G League Up Next Game at NBA All-Star 2024.

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Before joining G League Ignite, Smith played two seasons with Overtime Elite where he earned All-Overtime Elite Second Team honors following the 2022-23 season. 

As a 16-year-old, Smith was ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Class of 2023 by ESPN before signing with Overtime Elite.