Worst and Best Draft Day Moves by the Milwaukee Bucks: Part Two
For the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2019-20 season started out better than anyone could have imagined. The time to win is now for the cream and green, and they will look to add another piece for a championship run in what could end up being Giannis’s last year in Milwaukee.
While the team will obviously not have a lottery pick, they do hold Indiana’s first round pick thanks to the Malcolm Brogdon sign and trade last offseason. With that pick slated to be in the late teens/early twenties, the Bucks certainly have a chance to add an impact player.
Throughout the history of the franchise, there have been several selections the Bucks have absolutely hit on, while they have swung and missed on many others. Let’s take a look at Part Two of this two part series: The Best Draft Day Moves by the Milwaukee Bucks.
10. – Ramon Sessions, 2007 Draft, #56
Most probably don’t remember this pick and Sessions was by no means an NBA star. But he was a solid point guard for many years in the league, including three seasons in Milwaukee. Sessions even had a 44 point game in 2009 and played 10 years in the league. There aren’t many guys picked 56th overall that can say the same.
9. – Glenn Robinson, 1994 Draft, #1
The Bucks did well selecting Robinson in the ’94 Draft. Yes, they could have selected Jason Kidd, but if you look at the rest of the selections after he and Big Dog, there are a lot of ways the team could’ve gone wrong. Big Dog was a solid piece of the puzzle in Milwaukee in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, averaging over 20 points per game in all his seasons with the Bucks but one. The Purdue product made two All-Star appearances and helped lead the Bucks to Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals. As we saw in part one, you could do much worse at this spot than the Robinson selection.
8. – Malcolm Brogdon, 2016 Draft, #36
Brogdon is still in the first half of his career, so the final value of this pick could still go up. The Rookie of the Year in 2017, Brogdon joined a Bucks team and gave them a valuable piece on both ends to add to their young core led by Giannis. Unfortunately, injuries plagued him his final two years in Cream City, but Brogdon was still an important member of a 60-win team last year. Not being able to pay everyone, the Bucks had to move on from him this past offseason. But for how good of a player he has become, snagging the Virginia product early in the second round was an absolute steal.
7. – Marques Johnson, 1977 Draft, #3
In the same draft the Bucks selected Kent Benson number one overall, they also held the number three pick. The team selected Marques Johnson at that spot, which would make up for the failed choice two picks earlier. Johnson was a staple of the Bucks teams that contended in the ‘80s and he made four All-Star appearances in his time in Cream City. He averaged a career high 25 points per game in just his second season and the now color commentator finally had his well-deserved number retirement last year.
6. – Bucks select Stephon Marbury and trade him for Ray Allen, 1996 Draft, #4
The Bucks selected Robinson in 1994 to start the building of a young core. They swung and missed in 1995 with Shawn Respert, but would make up for it by acquiring Allen in the 1996 Draft. Originally, the team selected Marbury, who had a good career in his own right, but traded him to Minnesota. In exchange they got Allen, who went on to have an All-Star career. Fans still wish he would have been in the purple and green for more years than he was, but he, along with Robinson, helped bring fans some of their fondest memories in the Bradley Center during the 2001 playoffs.
5. – Sydney Moncrief, 1979 Draft, #5
Moncrief is one of the best to ever lace ‘em up for the Bucks, and getting him at number five in 1979 led to a decade of success in Milwaukee. The Arkansas product would spend the entire decade with the team, averaging over 16 points per game and making four All-Star appearances. Like Marques Johnson, Moncrief helped lead the Bucks to many winning seasons, but the team just couldn’t get over the hump, which was the Boston Celtics. Moncrief is one of the best the city of Milwaukee has seen though, and the memories he brought fans in the ‘80s will not be forgotten.
4. – Michael Redd, 2000 Draft, #43
Had Redd stayed healthy his entire career, he might be higher on this list. The sharpshooter fell all the way down to #43 in the 2000 Draft, and no one expected him to have the career he did. Redd made the Bucks final All-Star appearance until Giannis Antetokounmpo came along in 2004, and helped keep the team relevant after Allen, Robinson, and Sam Cassell left town. He was a fan favorite in Milwaukee and could score at will, culminating with a 57-point game against Utah in the prime of his career. Redd scored more points than anyone else drafted in 2000 other than Jamal Crawford. That’s pretty darn good value at pick 43.
3. – Bobby Dandridge, 1969 Draft, #45
Speaking of good value, Milwaukee was able to steal Bobby Dandridge at pick #45 in 1969. The Bucks just came off the inaugural season of their franchise, and also held the number one overall pick in the draft. They would certainly make a splash with that pick as we will get to shortly, but to get a player of Dandridge’s caliber in the fourth round back then was unheard of. The Bucks star would be an integral part of the franchise’s only championship team in 1971, and would go on to make four All-Star appearances after.
2. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1969 Draft, #1
Sometimes, the number one pick is just easy. That certainly was the case when the Bucks selected Lew Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with the first pick in the 1969 Draft. Playing two decades in the league, Abdul-Jabbar would make 19 All-Star appearances, and average 24.6 points per game in his career. He led the Bucks to their only title in his second season when he averaged almost 32 points per game, and is one of the best the association has ever seen. The only sad part for Bucks fans is that the hall of famer spent just his first six seasons in Milwaukee.
1. – Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2013 Draft, #15
The Bucks best pick in franchise history has already spent more than six seasons in Milwaukee, and the team hopes it will be many more. In the 2013 NBA Draft, the Bucks selected a tall, skinny kid out of Greece who nobody knew, nor could they pronounce any part of his name.
The man soon became known as the Greek Freak, showing raw potential with flashes of unprecedented athleticism. Giannis soon developed into an All-Star player, culminating in an MVP Award last season. If you redrafted the 2013 Draft 100 times, Giannis would be the first pick in every one of them. Barring serious injury, he will go down as one of the best to ever play in the league when all is said and done, and to get him at number 15 was the best move in Bucks franchise history.
Statistics Courtesy of Basketball Reference