Well…it’s still not July 31st so that means we still need to pass the time until the 2019-20 NBA season resumes. So, in my quest for content, I came across an interesting idea to rank every Bucks first round pick of the 2010s. It’s funny because with every single one of these picks, I talked myself into them on draft night but looking back on them, I should have defended maybe half of them. Probably even less. Also, quick disclaimer, I did not include players that the Bucks technically drafted but traded away on draft night. These players include Jimmer Fredette in 2011 and Kevin Porter Jr. in 2019.
8.) Rashad Vaughn (17th overall in 2015)
In the 2015 draft, the Milwaukee Bucks were in the market for a sharpshooter. So, with the 17th pick in the 2015 draft, the Bucks selected shooting guard, Rashad Vaughn out of UNLV. In college, Vaughn showcased the ability to not only be a sharpshooter but to be a legitimate scorer from everywhere on the court. His best season of his career came his rookie season when he played in 70 games but only averaged 3.1 points per game on a measly 29.3% from three. Definitely not the sharpshooter the Bucks were looking for. The Bucks ended up trading him in 2018, along with a second round pick in exchange for Tyler Zeller. After 2018, and incredibly brief stints with the Nets and Magic, Vaughn was out of the league.
7.) D.J. Wilson (17th overall in 2017)
In 2017, the Bucks drafted a power forward with all the potential in the world, D.J. Wilson. However, now in his third season in the NBA, he has yet to make a legitimate impact for the Milwaukee Bucks. As of right now, he is a star for the Wisconsin Herd but is almost running out of time with the Bucks.
6.) Thon Maker (10th overall in 2016)
In 2016, the Bucks shocked everybody when they reached on an uber athletic 7-footer named Thon Maker. Fans were really split on this pick, some were excited because of Thon’s potential while others thought the Bucks should have drafted guys like Taurean Prince or Denzel Valentine. In 2.5 seasons with the Bucks, Maker never averaged more than 4.8 points per game but he did have a few nice moments in the postseason giving him the nickname, “Playoff Thon.”
5.) Larry Sanders (15th overall in 2010)
At one point after the 2012-13 season where Sanders almost won the DPOY Award, Milwaukee fans thought they were going to be getting an All-Star center to move forward into the future with. Unfortunately, injuries and off the court issues caught up with Sanders and after the 2012-13 season, he never played in more than 27 games in a season for the Bucks. The only reason Sanders isn’t lower on this list is because his peak was something the previous players never got close to accomplishing.
4.) Jabari Parker (2nd overall in 2014)
Being drafted 2nd overall in the 2014 Draft, Jabari Parker was dubbed the future in Milwaukee. Often drawing comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, buzz in the Cream City was at an all-time high after the 2014 draft. Offensively, Parker had all of the tools to carry a team and become an All-Star in the future, but debilitating knee injuries and an inability to play effective defense caused Parker’s demise in Milwaukee. These factors lead to him not being re-signed after his rookie contract was up. Although Jabari’s career is often dubbed as “bust” worthy among Bucks fans, he did have a ton of fun moments in Milwaukee. He wasn’t the savior that people expected but he was still an exciting player to watch that helped change the culture around Bucks basketball.
3.) John Henson (14th overall in 2012)
When I first started these rankings, I honestly expected John Henson to end up in the 7-5 range, however, his career in Milwaukee ended up being better than most people remember. Henson played 7 seasons in Milwaukee which is tied for the most out of any player on this list and he was always a reliable starting/backup center for the Bucks. Fans could always expect Henson to play good defense and occasionally hit that patented “J-Hook.” Henson ended his career in Milwaukee 8th All-Time in blocks per game, 5th All-Time in blocks, and 4th All-Time in block percentage.
2.) Donte DiVincenzo (17th in 2018)
Donte DiVincenzo makes it all the way down to second on this list simply for the fact that he has played an important role on one of the best Bucks teams of all-time. He has played his role perfectly during the 2019-20 season and looks to be an incredibly promising player moving forward.
1.) Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th overall in 2013)
I don’t feel like there’s any need to explain this one.