Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking the top 5 power forwards of the last 10 seasons

Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan Ilyasova
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 21: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks power forwards of the last 10 seasons – No. 2: Ersan Ilyasova

There was no way I was going to slot Ersan Ilyasova anywhere other than number two when making these rankings. Ilyasova was drafted 36th overall by the Bucks and has played 583 games total for the Bucks (some coming before 2011-12), the sixth most all-time; although Khris Middleton will pass him this season.

Sticking with the sample since 2011-12, Ilyasova played 376 games in the last 10 seasons for the Bucks and averaged 10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.7 steals per game. He shot over 38.7 percent from 3-point range on 2.5 attempts in that time. His 25.3 win shares are the third-most of any position on the Bucks in the last 10 seasons, per Stathead, trailing only Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Ilyasova has had multiple stints with the Bucks and has always felt somewhat underappreciated by the fanbase, especially so in his most recent stint due to his contract. Nevertheless, Ilyasova has to be considered one of the best Bucks of the last decade or so. He’s always been a bit of a pest to other teams, routinely being around the league lead in charges taken. It was a little disappointing that Ilyasova wasn’t on the team for their championship win after so many years with the franchise and experiencing the heartbreak in the Eastern Conference Finals a couple of years prior.

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks power forwards of the last 10 seasons – No. 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo

For as obvious as it was to pick Khris Middleton for the best small forward of the last 10 seasons, this is the most obvious choice out of any position. Giannis Antetokounmpo is not only the best power forward of the last 10 seasons, but he’s also the best player the Bucks have had since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I don’t need to belabor Antetokounmpo’s career stats and accolades, but I’ll do it anyway. Antetokounmpo was drafted 15th overall by the Bucks in 2013 and has played 589 games for the organization so far. In those games, Antetokounmpo has averaged 20.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. In his 64 career playoff games, Antetokounmpo has averaged 25.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.4 blocks, proving he’s a big-game player.

He’s a five-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, four-time All-Defense, the 2016-17 Most Improved Player, the 2020-21 All-Star Game MVP,  the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time MVP, a Finals MVP, and, of course, an NBA champion. At 26-years-old, Antetokounmpo has accomplished just about all you can do for his age, and he still has many years to add on to an already first-ballot Hall of Fame resume.

From where Antetokounmpo was as a rookie to the player he has become now is a true testament to his incredible work ethic. He’s become one of the very best players in the NBA and has quite literally saved the Milwaukee Bucks franchise. For all the jaw-dropping things Antetokounmpo does on the court, it’s his personality and attitude/mentality that make him truly great. He brought the Bucks their second championship in franchise history and had a playoff run for the ages.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Revisiting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2020-21 goals. dark

I could go on and on about how much of an impact Antetokounmpo has had on the Bucks in his career so far, but I’m also excited for what’s to come.