Milwaukee Bucks: Who is the franchise’s best undrafted free agent ever?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 15 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 15 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks’ season is over, and the team is currently on the hunt for a new coach, but more basketball is still being played.

If you have been spending any time watching the NBA playoffs this year, especially the Miami-Boston Eastern Conference Finals, you have heard the announcers talk ad nauseam about the fact that four players in the Heat’s playoff rotation (Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson) are undrafted free agents (UDFAs). In fact, the Heat foursome ranks second, third, fourth, and fifth on this year’s list for most playoff points by undrafted free agents… the Lakers’ Austin Reaves tops the list with the most playoff points by an undrafted free agent this year.

All this talk about undrafted free agents got me thinking about which has been the most successful in a Bucks’ uniform. By just taking four basic stats (games played, points, rebounds, and assists), I think it’s clear that the best U.D.F.A. to wear a Bucks’ uniform has been Charlie Bell.

Bell, who played collegiately at Michigan State, entered the NBA in 2001-02, playing in seven games with the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. After three seasons overseas playing in Italy, Bell, in August 2005, signed a free agent contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. He played five seasons with the Bucks (2005-06 to 2009-10).

During those five seasons, Bell made 137 starts in his 350 games played for Milwaukee. He averaged 9.0 points per game in his career in Milwaukee, including 13.5 points per game in 2006-07. He was traded by the Bucks to the Golden State Warriors after the 2009-10 season but played only 19 games with the Warriors before he was released in December 2011.

Milwaukee Bucks leading UDFAs in games, points, rebounds, assists

Here is a look at the U.D.F.A. Milwaukee Bucks players who played in the most games for the team, and had the most career points, rebounds, and assists.

Games Played
350-Charlie Bell
168-Wesley Matthews
156-Marty Conlon
139-Scott Williams
134-Darvin Ham

3,164-Charlie Bell
1,210-Marty Conlon
937-Scott Williams
922-Wesley Matthews
897-Earl Boykins

824-Scott Williams
791-Charlie Bell
603-Marty Conlon
495-Darvin Ham
371-Wesley Matthews

842-Charlie Bell
531-Matthew Dellavedova
485-Damon Jones
300-Earl Boykins
215-Michael Curry

The Bucks have won two NBA Championships, 1970-71 and 2020-21. The 70-71 title team featured only one U.D.F.A. who played in the playoffs that year, Jeff Webb, a shooting guard who played at Kansas State. In the 70-71 playoffs, Webb played in nine games and scored 11 points in 23 minutes played.

In the 2020-21 championship season, the Bucks had four U.D.F.A.s who played in the playoffs that year: Bryn Forbes (he played in 20 post-season games that year, scoring 131 points), Elijah Bryant (14 points in 11 post-season games for the Bucks), Mamadi Diakite (seven points in seven playoff games) and Axel Toupane (five points in four Bucks post-season games that year).

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