Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest draft mistakes of the last 10 years

Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 20: (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Looking back on the last ten years, the Milwaukee Bucks have had their fair share of draft mistakes, whether it be via poor talent evaluation, bad fit, or other factors. The Bucks have not had too much success finding players in the draft outside the massive success that is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Instead, much of the Bucks’ success has come from either trading for players, like Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, or signing players, like Bobby Portis, the recently opted in Pat Connaughton and Brook Lopez.

Milwaukee Bucks have struggled in the draft for the last decade

Sure, it is fair to hold up guys like Giannis and Malcolm Brogdon as foils to that argument. It is also fair to say that you could make a list of draft mistakes for every franchise, considering how much luck goes into the drafting process. It is really quite difficult for executives to predict how a player’s game or personality will translate to the NBA, and it can lead to a lot of confirmation bias when a player does/doesn’t pan out. The Bucks have also been drafting almost exclusively in the second round in previous years, their last first round pick being Donte DiVincenzo back in 2018.

Taking all of that to be true, the Bucks’ drafting process has still left a lot to be desired. A quick glance at the two 2022 NBA finals teams shows how important hitting on picks, both in the lottery and in the second round, is for a team’s long-term success. Although the Bucks just won a championship with a roster made up mostly of guys acquired elsewhere, the draft remains an important place to find cheap, young talent that will extend the championship window.

To exorcise some draft-related demons, let’s take a quick trip back down memory lane to some past draft misses. Hopefully, this will help cleanse the negative aura hanging around the Bucks draft room for Thursday’s selection.