With the NBA Finals wrapping up, the other 28 teams prepare for the future with the NBA Draft coming up. In this year’s draft, the Milwaukee Bucks have three draft picks (No. 10, No. 36 and No. 38). Will they strike gold with these picks like they did in previous years? In this article, I will highlight the best draft picks (or moves) the Milwaukee Bucks made in the NBA Draft.
When Jabari Parker was picked second overall by the Bucks in 2014, it was a no-brainer. He had a pretty decent rookie season in 2014/15 before suffering a torn ACL against Phoenix in December. Since returning from that injury, he has shown signs of brilliance and growth this past season. He also recorded a career high 36 points against the Houston Rockets later in the season. If Parker continues to improve, He can easily become a perennial All-Star and potential superstar for the Bucks for years to come.
While Andrew Bogut may be having more success with the Golden State Warriors, he did have a decent career with the Milwaukee Bucks. Being the number one overall pick in 2005, Bogut finished the 2005/06 season playing all 82 games, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting and earning the All-Rookie First Team. He also played a pivotal role leading the Bucks to the playoffs in 2006 and 2010. Although most of his time with Milwaukee was riddled with injuries, you cannot deny that he was a valuable asset.
In a draft class filled with potential all-star guards (James Harden, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan), Brandon Jennings shocked a lot of people. While many people would like to forget his final years in Milwaukee, but you can’t forget his initial years with the team. During his rookie season, in a game against the Golden State Warriors (with Steph Curry), Jennings scored a career high 55 points and breaking the record of points made by a Bucks rookie since 1970. He also led the Bucks in the playoffs and were one game away from beating the Atlanta Hawks in a seven game series in 2010. After leaving Milwaukee in 2013, He has played for Detroit and (currently) Orlando.
Vin Baker was the 8th overall pick from the University of Hartford. While the records won’t show, he made an impact from the start. He was an NBA All Rookie Team in 1994, he was a perennial All-Star from 95 to 98. He made the All NBA Third Team in 1997. In 1997, He was traded to Seattle as part of a three team trade. While Baker bounced around the league until his retirement in 2006, one could argue his best years were when he was in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform.
The 2000 Draft class was one of the weaker draft classes in the past decade. But the Bucks managed to steal one of the best players of that class in the second round with Michael Redd. While he didn’t start right away, he learned from one of the best shooting guards in the NBA at that time in Ray Allen. After Allen was traded to Seattle, Redd kindly took over his place kind of like when Aaron Rodgers took the mantle from Brett Favre in Green Bay. In 2004, Redd became an NBA All-Star, earning a spot on the All NBA Third Team and led the Bucks the playoffs on 2 separate occasions (2004 and 2006). In 2008, Redd earned a spot on the USA Redeem Team and won a gold medal during the Olympics in Beijing. While his career had come up short from various knee injuries, He proved to be a solid replacement for one of the best shooters in the NBA.
Number 7: Glenn Robinson-1994
In 1994, the Bucks drafted Glenn Robinson with the number one overall pick. The Big Dog would become one of the best players the Bucks ever picked up. He was an All-Rookie First Team and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1995. During the early 2000’s, alongside Ray Allen and Sam Cassell, he became a 2x NBA All-Star, led the Bucks in the playoffs three straight seasons, and led the Bucks to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Robinson also has the honor of being the second all-time leading scorer in Milwaukee Bucks history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. With the numbers Robinson accumulated during his time in Milwaukee, it might lead to a possible jersey number retirement by the Bucks.
Most people now know Marques Johnson as a play-by-play analyst for Fox Sports Wisconsin. But Johnson was also a descent basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. Picked third overall in 1977, he helped the Bucks make the playoffs on numerous occasions. He made the All-NBA First Team in 1979, the All-NBA Second Team twice and represented the Bucks four times as an NBA All-Star. In 1984, Johnson coined the term point forward by helping set up offenses for the Bucks during the playoffs. While NBA stars like LeBron James have taken the term point forward and ran with it. Johnson was one of the original pioneers of the term.
Who would have seen this coming? No one expected anything from the 2013 draft class (especially with Anthony Bennett going number 1). But the Greek Freak has been one of the few surprises from this draft class. With each of his first three seasons, he has been improving greatly. He is tall, quick, and full of potential. Antetokoumnpo has also been getting plenty of compliments from plenty of NBA stars (including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James). The Bucks may have struck gold with Giannis and could potentially have one of the best internationals players in the NBA today.
Back when the draft had more than two rounds, the Bucks snatched up Dandridge in the fourth round in 1969. His first two years with the Bucks, along with Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson, helped turn the Bucks into championship contenders. He made the NBA All Rookie Team along with Alcindor in 1970 and helped bring the city of Milwaukee its first (and only) championship in 1971. He also represented the Bucks in the NBA All Star Game three times. In 2015, the Bucks retired his No. 10 jersey on March.
Number 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (Lew Alcindor)-1969
The only reason he isn’t number one is because it would have been too obvious. It was a no brainer for the Bucks to take Kareem Abdul-Jabaar number one overall in 1969. He is by far the best draft pick the Bucks ever made. He is the franchise’s leading scorer, led the Bucks to the finals twice and brought the city of Milwaukee the championship in 71. He and Oscar Robertson formed one of the best one-two punches in the NBA. While most people will remember him more during his time in Los Angeles and the Showtime Lakers, we must never forget, that without Kareem, basketball in the city of Milwaukee would have been an afterthought.
Number 2: Sidney Moncrief-1979
After Kareem was traded to the Lakers, the Bucks needed a new franchise player. Look no further than Super Sid. Picked fifth overall in 1979, Moncrief helped the Bucks one of the best teams in the 1980’s. Not did Moncrief help on offense, he helped the Bucks out with his defense. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award two years in a row (1983 and 1984) and made the All-NBA Defensive Team four years in a row. Moncrief was one of the best all-around players in the NBA and was admired for his on-court intensity was numerous star players (including Michael Jordan). While Moncrief never managed to bring the Bucks back to the NBA Finals, he gave it his all every game.
It’s only fitting that the Bucks (second) best draft pick comes from one the best draft classes in NBA history, 1996! By picking Stephon Marbury fourth overall and Allen going to Minnesota right after the dominoes were all in place. The two players’ draft rights were swaped for one another and the rest is history. The Bucks would gain one of the best clutch shooters in NBA history. While he may have won championships in Boston and Miami, he was the centerpiece for the Bucks during his tenure and got them one win away from reaching the NBA Finals in 2001. When he retires, hopefully the Bucks will honor him in some way for his contributions to the franchise.
Those are my picks for the best draft picks by the Bucks. Next time, I will tackle the bottom of the totem pole with the franchise’s worst draft picks.