Milwaukee Bucks: Taking a look at the history of 30th overall picks

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 2: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 2: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

As the Milwaukee Bucks hold the 30th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, their lone selection, we look at the history of players that have been taken in previous iterations of the draft.

The countdown to the 2019 NBA Draft continues to tick down and Thursday night’s festivities stand to be highly entertaining, considering what has all transpired going into this year’s draft night.

Of course, the Milwaukee Bucks stand way off in the distance of the spectacle as they hold only one selection, that being the 30th overall pick, after compiling the league’s best record from the 2018-19 season.

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Given that the Bucks will be facing a whole host of questions regarding the many free agency cases they’re set to address in less than two weeks time, the draft doesn’t stand as consequential as it has in years past, at least in the eyes of some fans.

In fact, there’s already some chatter regarding the Bucks exploring moves to offload salary that will likely require attaching draft compensation as a sweetener as Marc Stein of the New York Times reported earlier in the week.

With no guarantee that the Bucks finish out draft night with the pick or the player that is selected with said pick, there’s certainly a scenario where Milwaukee comes away empty-handed in this year’s draft.

In the event that the Bucks do end up sticking with the selection, teams who have held the 30th overall pick have had a history of picking meaningful contributors, especially this decade.

The crown jewel in that regard has been current Philadelphia 76ers and former Marquette star, Jimmy Butler, as he has developed into a four-time All-Star, a two-time All-NBA selection and was named NBA Most Improved Player for the 2014-15 season after being taken 30th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

While Butler stands far and away as the best 30th overall pick taken historically, fellow All-Stars and All-NBA players have also been taken at that spot this century between Gilbert Arenas (2001) and David Lee (2005).

And solid role players have also been chosen with the 30th pick, from the likes of Kyle Anderson, Milwaukee native Kevon Looney, current Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Brazilian big man, Anderson Varejao.

The Bucks, themselves, have actually had a history of previously holding the 30th overall pick thirty years ago in the 1989 NBA Draft. With that selection, they took Vanderbilt forward Frank Kornet, and in his two NBA seasons, both in Milwaukee, the Lexington native averaged 1.9 points on .369/.263/.596 shooting splits and 1.1 rebounds in his 89 appearances with the Bucks.

Again, there are far more examples historically of players being selected with the 30th pick not lasting all that long in the NBA or even in the game of basketball when reaching the pros. But the recent string of notables does provide some optimism that you never what kind of player your favorite team has struck on in the draft.

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Whether the Bucks will even have that chance is far from sorted out as the draft draws ever nearer, but hitting on a player that might impact Milwaukee down the line in some shape or form is possible.