A historical look at the Milwaukee Bucks' 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft

The Milwaukee Bucks got exactly what they expected out of the NBA Lottery on Tuesday night, and will pick 10th in the 2011 NBA Draft. June 23 is over a month away, and there’s plenty of time to saturate your brain with information about each prospect, so let’s start the whirlwind of guessing game mock drafts and hearsay rumors with a historical look at the 10th overall selection in the NBA Draft.

Below is a list of the 10th overall pick of each NBA Draft since 1998. As with any pick in the top 10, there have been some major hits, major whiffs, and a few competent role players.

Year Player College NBA team
2010 Paul George Fresno State Indiana Pacers
2009 Brandon Jennings Italy Milwaukee Bucks
2008 Brook Lopez Stanford New Jersey Nets
2007 Spencer Hawes Washington Sacramento Kings
2006 Mouhamed Saer Sene Senegal Seattle Supersonics
2005 Andrew Bynum UConn HS Sr. LA Lakers
2004 Luke Jackson Oregon Sr. Cleveland Cavaliers
2003 Jarvis Hayes Georgia Jr. Washington Wizards
2002 Caron Butler UConn So. Miami Heat
2001 Joe Johnson Arkansas So. Boston Celtics
2000 Keyon Dooling Missouri So. Orlando Magic
1999 Jason Terry Arizona Sr. Atlanta Hawks
1998 Paul Pierce Kansas Boston Celtics

Obviously, none of these picks are correlated to one another in terms of potential and/or success, and the talent pool most likely available at No. 10 this year won’t yield someone of even Brandon Jennings’ caliber. A draft class can’t be judged for at least two years after the fact, but it’s a safe bet that the success of the 2011 class will fall somewhere between the 2000 and 2003 NBA Drafts.

If you’re looking for a silver lining to the Milwaukee Bucks’ slotting at No. 10, Chad Ford may have laid it out in his pre and post-NBA Lottery ESPN Radio interviews. Ford said that any team in the top 10 is feeling some pressure because of the watered down nature of this year’s draft. Many teams see maximum value in picking between 10 and 20, as most of the players available in that range have similar role-playing potential as many of the projected top picks.

With a potential lockout looming, as well as some initial indications that teams holding high picks are willing to deal, we’ve got a long ways to go before the 2011 NBA Draft. But that build up is what makes the offseason fun, right?

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