Note: Dirk Nowitzki will not be on this list. The Bucks did draft him in 1998, but his draft rights were immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. This is a list of players who had put on a Bucks uniform.
The Bucks struck gold with Michael Redd in the second round in 2000, not so much here. While Leuer was a second round pick, many Bucks fans were happy to see the Wisconsin player get picked by the Bucks. But the marriage wouldn’t last long. His first (and only) season in Milwaukee, he played in 46 games and averaged 4.7 points per game. He has moved from Milwaukee to Cleveland, Memphis and now (currently) Phoenix.
Another second round pick that didn’t really work out for the Bucks. Picked 39th overall out North Carolina in 2006, Noel entered the NBA with a National Championship under his belt. In his sole season with the Bucks, he averaged 2.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Since Milwaukee, Noel bounce around the NBA Development League (D-League) and playing overseas.
For a lot of NBA Players like Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway and Brandon Roy, you think about what their careers could have been like if they haven’t been injured. One player that fits that description is T.J. Ford. Drafted out of the University of Texas in 2003, it seemed the Bucks were drafting their point guard of the future. At one point he was voted as the quickest point guard in the NBA. However, during his rookie season, TJ Ford would suffer a ruptured spinal cord and missed the remainder of his rookie year and the 2004/05 season. While he did try to make a comeback, he could never fully recover and was forced to retire in 2012.
Another example of a guy with a lot of potential and talent and never becoming a star. Drafted 15th overall from Virginia Commonwealth University, Sanders came in with a lot of talent. He showed flashes of a guy who could be a descent scorer and defensive stopper for the Milwaukee Bucks. After 2013 and finishing third in Most Improved Player of the Year voting, One would think he would become a future Defensive Player of the Year Award winner and one of the best defenders in Bucks history. But come 2015, Sanders would leave Milwaukee and the NBA dealing with personal demons. After his departure, only thing Bucks fans could really say was, “what could have been.”
Being a top ten pick in the draft, people expect great things from you. The Bucks expected it from Todd Day, but it just really did work out. He would only play three and a half seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded to the Boston Celtics in 1995. Since then he would move around the league (including trips overseas) until he retired as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2001.
Number 7: Alton Lister-1981
Most people will remember Alton Lister as the guy that got dunked on by Shawn Kemp. But Lister did also play for the Milwaukee Bucks. While in Milwaukee, he only averaged 8.1 points per game, 7 rebounds and 1. 8 blocks per game. He played 5 seasons with the Bucks before being traded to Seattle and then Golden State when the Kemp incident happened. He would return to play for the Bucks in 1994, only to be traded again (along with Todd Day) to Boston in 95. Did anyone else remember any of this?
While players like Stephen Curry have fathers who had success in the NBA and made names for themselves, Al Horford’s dad wasn’t as fortunate. Tito Horford played only three years in the NBA two of those years in Milwaukee. He would also play overseas for a couple of years before coming back to the NBA and retire in 1993. If it wasn’t for Al Horford’s successful career. Many people would probably forget that Tito Horford was even around.
One of the Bucks biggest draft blunders. With the success of Yao Ming, many thought Yi Jianlian would have been the next big Chinese basketball player in the NBA. People of Milwaukee should have known this relationship was doomed from the start. Prior to the draft, Yi’s agent warned the Bucks not to draft him for various concerns. Even after he was drafted, it seemed like he didn’t want to be here. He would play only one full season in Milwaukee, before being traded to New Jersey in 2008. By 2012, Yi was out of the NBA and returned to China. The Bucks really dropped the ball with this one.
The following year after the Yi Jianlian debacle, the Bucks had yet another blunder. The Bucks took Alexander eighth overall ahead of players like Brook Lopez. On Draft night, he said he would bring “toughness and someone who is committed and wants to win.” Unfortunately what the Bucks got was one of the biggest busts in a two year span. There is also debate who was a bigger bust for the Bucks, Yi or Alexander? Does it really? Both of them were bad picks for the Bucks.
Number 3: Shawn Respert-1995
In between the years the Bucks got Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen. The Bucks would obtain the draft rights of Michigan State’s Shawn Respert from the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Bucks gaining Allen’s draft rights in 96 was a good thing, Respert not so much. He was a star in college and a Big Ten Player of the Year in East Lansing. However, the talent wasn’t there in Milwaukee. What may have contributed to his bust standings in the NBA, was the fact he had stomach cancer throughout his career. Respert only played four seasons in the NBA, and he is now currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Definitely a player who was only good in college and not in the pros. Breuer was drafted eighteenth overall out of the University of Minnesota. It looked like the Bucks would get a dominant big man after Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. However, Breuer played seven seasons with the Bucks and only had one good season with the team. He would bounce around the league after leaving Milwaukee in 1990 playing for Minnesota, Atlanta and Sacramento. While Breuer’s jersey may have been retired by the University of Minnesota, don’t expect the Bucks to retire his jersey anytime soon.
The guy who got punched by Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. The same year the Bucks drafted Marques Johnson, they took Benson number one overall. In his first game, against the Los Angeles Lakers, Benson got into it with Kareem. He elbows Kareem in the stomach and makes Kareem catch his breath. At first it looked like he would let it slide and continue the play. Then, while Benson wasn’t looking, Kareem gave him a quick punch in the face. As a result, Kareem broke his hand and Benson was never the same. Many have wondered, what Benson’s career would have been like if he never got punched.
Who knows where the Bucks’ three picks in this year’s draft will stack up. But hopefully, for their sake, they won’t end up on people’s all time worst lists.