The Bucks have had tremendous success in the last few years, drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo and finishing with the best record in the league for two straight years including this one.
Giannis is likely to win his second straight MVP Award and they managed to sign Mike Budenholzer who is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Not to mention, the Bucks are legitimate title contenders who are expected to make the Finals.
But the Bucks haven’t always drafted correctly to get gems like Giannis. In fact, the Bucks have made some tremendously poor choices that did not help their cause in terms of team success.
Here are the worst draft choices made by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA.
6. 2008 NBA Draft
(8th pick) Joe Alexander over (10th pick) Brook Lopez
With the 8th pick of the 2008 NBA draft, the books selected Joe Alexander over Brook Lopez. Brook Lopez went 10th in the draft to the New Jersey Nets, which was a great choice for them because Lopez lasted 9 years with the franchise.
Lopez averages a career 16.8 PPG and 6.4 RPG including making one All-Star team and the All-Rookie Team in 2008. Lopez is currently playing for the Bucks, but he would have been a nice addition to a squad that needed talent and scoring.
Joe Alexander lasted only 2 seasons in the NBA and averaged a career 4.2 PPG. He was also traded after his rookie season, so the Bucks clearly picked the wrong center to draft in 2008.
5. 1976 NBA Draft
(7th pick) Quinn Buckner over (8th pick) Robert Parish
With the seventh pick in the 1976 Draft, the Bucks opted to draft Quinn Buckner. Buckner didn’t have much impact on the league beyond an average career. The 6’3″ guard averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.3 APG and his best season came in the 1980-1981 season where he put up 13.3 PPG and 4.7 APG for the Bucks.
But not drafting Parish was a huge mistake. Parish was drafted with the eighth pick of the draft, meaning that the Bucks could have snatched him up before the Golden State Warriors did. Parish averaged 14.5 PPG and 9.1 RPG in a Hall of Fame career that included 4 NBA titles and 9 All-Star teams. Parish was also a part of a great Boston Celtics team and one of the most iconic players in Celtics history.
4. 2011 NBA Draft
(10th pick) Jimmer Fredette over (11th pic) Klay Thompson
The Warriors had the 10th pick in the draft in 2011, only to miss out on Klay Thompson who was drafted 11th by the Warriors. Fredette was a great college player but a benchwarmer in the NBA and failed to live up to his hype as a shooter and scorer. Fredette is only averaging 6.0 PPG for his career.
Once again, the Warriors snatched up a gem that many teams missed out on. Only one could imagine if they had Klay Thompson to team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the East. Klay is one of the best shooters of all time and is averaging 19.5 PPG on 41.9% 3-pt FG. Klay is also a vital part of a Golden State Warriors dynasty that won 3 NBA titles in 4 years.
3. 2014 NBA Draft
(2nd pick) Jabari Parker over (3rd pick) Joel Embiid
The Bucks missed out big time with this one. They had the second pick in the NBA Draft but did not draft Embiid. They went for a more athletic scorer, that simply did not work out for them.
Parker was a very promising player and was expected to become a star in the league as a stretch four. Even though he’s averaging 15.0 PPG for his career, he only lasted 4 seasons with the Bucks before they traded him to Chicago.
When it comes to pure impact and dominance on both ends of the floor, Embiid is truly one of the top-20 players in the NBA right now. He has already made 3 All-Star teams and is averaging 24.2 PPG and 11.5 RPG for his career. Injury concerns aside, Embiid would have made an unbelievable pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the East. Embiid is a superstar when he is playing well and one of the best centers in the entire NBA so this was a big mistake.
2. 2005 NBA Draft
(1st pick) Andrew Bogut over (4th pick) Chris Paul
Bogut was not a bad player by any means, because he had a good career that included a great season in 2009-2010 where he averaged 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 2.5 BPG for the Bucks. But the Bucks had the first pick of the NBA Draft which they used to sign a defensive center rather than one of the best floor generals in NBA history.
Obviously, missing out on Chris Paul is one of the worst mistakes the Bucks have ever made. Paul is a two-way superstar at the point guard position and one of the best leaders ever. Paul has had success everywhere he goes, making 10 All-Star teams and also winning Rookie of the Year in 2005.
He would have made the Bucks instant contenders but the franchise dropped the ball with this one. This draft choice should be the number one mistake the Bucks made, but the franchise missed out on one more Hall of Fame player that has to be the biggest mistake yet.
1. 1977 NBA Draft
(1st pick) Kent Benson over (7th pick) Bernard King
Without a doubt, the biggest disaster the Bucks made was not drafting Bernard King with the first pick of the draft. Many teams passed up on drafting King, who was drafted 7th by the New Jersey Nets, but that doesn’t make it any less acceptable for the Bucks.
King would have probably changed the Bucks franchise. The NBA is a star-driven league and Bernard King was certainly one. He was a gifted small forward who averaged 22.5 PPG over his career, which included 4 All-NBA Teams, 4 All-Star teams, and an induction into the Hall of Fame. He also won the scoring title 1984-1985, where he averaged 32.9 PPG.
Out of all the disappointments the Bucks have made in their franchise history, this draft pick will forever be their biggest one especially since they used the first pick to draft Benson who only averaged 9.1 PPG as a center. Benson lasted under 3 seasons with the Bucks before getting traded.