The 2017 NBA Draft is just one week away, and questions abound. What will the Boston Celtics, one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, do with the #1 overall pick? Will Lonzo and Lavar Ball make their way to the bright lights of LA with the Lakers’ second selection? Who will eventually come out from the ashes as this draft’s top star?
Well, closer to home, the question is who the Milwaukee Bucks will take with the 17th overall pick. Coming off of one of the most thrilling seasons in recent memory, capped off with an exciting series against the Toronto Raptors, Bucks fans are going to be tuning in in droves to find out who will join this current squad in hopes of taking that next step up the NBA ladder. Now, for this article, we are not looking to the future, but rather the past. That is because we will be looking at some of the best draft picks in Milwaukee Bucks history. While this particular list will serve as the honorable mentions, an upcoming article will break down my 5 best Bucks draft picks of all time.
(Note: Players must have played for the Bucks upon being drafted, so no Dirk Nowitzki here.)
With that out of the way, let’s begin
Honorable Mention #1: Paul Pressey, 1982
Draft Notes: Drafted #20 overall in the first round out of Tulsa University
Stats with MIL (8 seasons): 580 games, 29.2 MPG, 11.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 45.5 WS
The first thing that people may look at when it comes to Paul Pressey is his rather low 11.9 PPG average. However, this fails to show the important role that Pressey brought to Milwaukee during his tenure from 1982-83 to 1989-90. For one, he was the backcourt wingman of Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief and a three-time All-Defensive team selection (one first-team and two second-team). Second, he had a very solid prime. From 1984-85 to 1987-88, the Milwaukee Bucks had the following records: 59-23, 57-25, 50-32 and 42-40, winning the Central division in those first two seasons and making the playoffs each season. During those years, Pressey averaged 14.4 points, 7.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals a night while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.
Honorable Mention #2: Jon McGlocklin, 1968 Expansion Draft
Draft Notes: Selected from San Diego Rockets
Stats with MIL (8 seasons): 585 games, 28.6 MPG, 12.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 43.3 WS
The Bucks pulled a diamond in the rough as the San Diego Rockets elected not to protect the then 24-year-old McGlocklin in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He came to Milwaukee off of a solid 1967-68 season in which he averaged 12.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Little did they know the success that McGlocklin would go on to have in the Cream City, as in his first three years in Milwaukee, the last of which being the franchise’s lone championship season, Jonny Mac posted averages of 17.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He also made his only All-Star appearance during this period, in 1968-69. While younger fans may know him as the fan-favorite color commentator on the team’s TV broadcast alongside Jim Paschke, a different generation knows him as one of the team’s first great sharpshooters. His jersey now hangs in the rafters of the Bradley Center, one of just eight who has received the honor.
Honorable Mention #3: Vin Baker, 1993
Draft Notes: Drafted #8 overall in the first round out of Hartford University
Stats with MIL (4 seasons): 324 games, 38.3 MPG, 18.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.3 BPG, 24.7 WS
Though he did not spend as much time with the Bucks as other people on this list with only 4 seasons to his tenure, it was quite a successful one. Baker was selected as an All-Star in each of his final three seasons in a Bucks uniform and had three of his four best scoring seasons and top three rebounding seasons in Milwaukee. While not talked about nearly as much as other big men in the fabled green and purple era, Baker more than made his mark on the Bucks while he was a Milwaukee player.
Honorable Mention #4: Glenn Robinson, 1994
Draft Notes: Drafted #1 overall in the first round out of Purdue University
Stats with MIL (8 seasons): 568 games, 37.4 MPG, 21.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 34.8 WS
One of those big men was the Big Dog, Glenn Robinson. A 1st team All-American coming into the draft out of Purdue, Robinson was the shoo-in number 1 selection in 1994, and he would show why that was the case during his time in Milwaukee. A two-time All-Star in 2000 and 2001, Robinson was a big fan favorite on a team full of them, including Ray Allen and Sam Cassell. He was one of the best scorers at his position, averaging fewer than 20 points per game in a season just once, and even then he averaged 18.4 PPG. The perfect frontcourt complement to the electric backcourt presence of Allen, the Big Dog will certainly hold onto his position on lists like these for years to come.
Honorable Mention #5: Michael Redd, 2000
Draft Notes: Drafted #43 overall in the second round out of Ohio State University
Stats with MIL (11 seasons): 578 games, 33.4 MPG, 20.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 55.1 WS
One of only two players in the past 13 years to make it to the NBA All-Star game for Milwaukee (and we’ll get to the other one later), Michael Redd was a revelation for the Bucks during his career. In a 5-season stretch from 2004-05 to 2008-09, the Bucks won 30, 40, 28, 26 and 34 games while making the playoffs just one time. However, for Redd, this turned out to be his best run of his Bucks career, as he averaged 24.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals during that same five-year period. On top of being by far the best scorer on teams that included such players as Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and Yi Jianlian, Redd provided many great moments and buzzer-beaters that are fondly remembered to this day.