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: Thon Maker
Milwaukee Bucks: Thon Maker /

Milwaukee Bucks select Thon Maker: Pick #10, 2016 NBA Draft

There was a time when I really, really, REALLY thought Thon Maker and Giannis were going to form one of the most dynamic front-court duos in NBA history. Thon was tall, long, athletic and showed a good amount of offensive potential both as a shooter and off the bounce, guys like that don’t come around very often.

Obviously, his output did not live up to his hype. The biggest problem Thon ran into, through no fault of his own, was that the Bucks front office saw Thon as a Giannis 2.0. The Bucks were still riding the high of successfully gambling on a tall, athletic foreign-born player who showed flashes of being a unicorn on offense. When they saw Thon, they saw a player who fit that Giannis archetype and just assumed that he would follow that trajectory.

This was absolutely not fair to Thon and it set him up for failure in the long term. For most of the time before the draft, teams viewed Thon as a second-round talent who did possess some, albeit small, star potential. When the Bucks took him, he was immediately thrust into the foregone expectations that any raw foreign-born player would magically turn into Giannis. Maker never reached those heights and, in retrospect, it is not all that surprising.

Noteworthy Players the Bucks Passed On:

  • Domantas Sabonis – Pick #11
  • Pascal Siakam – Pick #27
  • Dejounte Murray – Pick #29