Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking the top 5 centers of the last 10 seasons

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson
MILWAUKEE, WI – DECEMBER 09: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks centers of the last 10 seasons – No. 4: John Henson

The center who has played far and away the most games for the Bucks in the last 10 seasons, John Henson spent the first seven seasons of his career with Milwaukee after being drafted 14th overall in 2012. At 405 games played, Henson is in the top 25 all-time for the Bucks.

Due to his long tenure as a member of the Bucks, there’s certainly an argument that Henson could be higher on the list. In his 405 games, Henson started only 152 and averaged 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. He didn’t have a single-season peak as high as Sanders, but he managed to post five seasons over two win shares out of the six seasons where he played a significant amount of games. He has the highest win share total of any Bucks center in the last ten seasons at 19.3, mostly due to his long tenure and overall consistency.

The Bucks got solid value from a late lottery pick, even though he never developed much of an offensive game. I was intrigued that Henson began to shoot 3-pointers in his last season with the Bucks — the first year of the Mike Budenholzer Era — as he shot over two 3s per game at a 35.5 percent clip before being traded. He was a solid Milwaukee Buck and who could forget his fight with Matt Barnes.

Top 5 Milwaukee Bucks centers of the last 10 seasons – No. 3: Bobby Portis

I have made the controversial decision to a) put Bobby Portis at number three despite having only played one season for the Bucks so far and b) list him as a center despite being a power forward for most of his career. To answer the latter, Portis played the majority of his minutes at center for the Bucks last season (around 80 percent per Cleaning the Glass), and we can expect the same this season. The team was also better when he played the five alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo than when he was at the four.

To answer the first, it’s more about what I think Portis’ impact can be on the Bucks franchise if he continues to play for them. He is signed through this season and has a player option for next year, which he will most likely decline for a bigger contract, ideally from the Bucks. He fared pretty well in his lone season as a Buck too, though. In 66 games, Portis averaged 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds while shooting over 47 percent on 3s (over two attempts per game). That doesn’t include his playoff impact, where he posted 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and was the third-leading scorer in the closeout game of the Finals.

Portis’ energy and effort are nearly unmatched by anyone else, a large reason why he’s become such a fan favorite in a short amount of time. It might be a lot of recency bias to have Portis this high, and I do think his 3-point shooting will regress some this year, but he’s become such an integral part of this Bucks team that he deserves it.