No. 3 Mo Williams
The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t have much to brag about during the mid-2000s, missing the playoffs in three of the four years from 2004 to 2008. However, during that time, they had a young guard who was starting to make a name for himself in the league, Mo Williams.
After being drafted by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2003 NBA draft, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2004. In his first year with the Bucks, the team missed the playoffs after going just 30-52 overall and finishing fifth in the NBA Central Division. Williams saw his points per game double from his first to second year, going from just five points per game while playing for Utah to north of 10 during the ’04-’05 season.
Milwaukee made the playoffs in 2005-2006 but lost in the first round to the Detroit Pistons, and Williams averaged just 12.8 points per game in what was his third season in the NBA. However, the next year, Williams’ scoring saw a stark improvement, jumping his average to what was at the time his career high of 17.2 points per game.
The following season in 2007-2008, he was right back to the same average of being north of 17 points a contest, but the Bucks finished with a disappointing 26-56 overall record. Williams was the second option behind Michael Redd that season and was eventually traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the offseason.
The next year, Williams would have an All-Star season, averaging a career-best 17.8 points per game. Even though the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t experience much team success, Williams’ time with the Bucks helped catapult him into an eventual All-Star and consistent scorer in the league. He spent two of his three best scoring years with the Bucks and was able to get his footing in the league as a young guard while playing for Milwaukee. His time with the Milwaukee Bucks might have been during some trying times for the franchise, but he individually saw major growth in his playing that allowed him to have a lasting NBA career.