Who will come out on top in the Dairyland Express Ultimate Milwaukee Bucks Draft? Check out the team led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and judge for yourself!
With the NBA on hiatus and fans going crazy, the writers at Dairyland Express decided to partake in a friendly competition trying to put together the best Milwaukee Bucks‘ team of all time.
The rules are simple. Each player can only be drafted once and you must select the year you want them from. For example, the 2019-20 Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected with the first overall pick. That means the general manager got that version of his skills and he can’t be picked again, no matter what year.
Each general manager/writer is responsible for filling his roster however he sees fit. He can go with all guards, all centers or anywhere in between. There are 10 rounds which means five starters and five bench players.
Each general manager has also written an article stating the thought process behind their strategy. Check them all out at Dairyland Express! We are asking you, the readers, to vote on who did the best. There is a link at the bottom of each article you can click on that will take you to the twitter page to vote.
Here are the full results. Enjoy!
Round 1, Pick 1: 2019-20 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kareem versus “The Greek Freak.” Old School versus New School. Hall of Famer versus likely future Hall of Famer. That’s what I had to decide when it came to the opening pick of our Ultimate Bucks Draft. Whoever I picked is going to be the face of my franchise, and you could make a case for either one. So, who goes No. 1?
Give me the player who won his first MVP with per game averages of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists as a 24-year-old, and was actually better the following season (29.6/13.7/5.8). Give me the player who was on pace to break Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time Player Efficiency Rating of 31.82 before dipping slightly below to a tie for fifth all-time (31.63) at the time his season was halted. Give me 2019-20 Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Round 2, Pick 10: 2000-01 Glenn Robinson
It was a long wait for the second pick, and we’re still going best player on the board. And since Giannis’s current right-hand man, Khris Middleton, was taken off the board two picks ago, he’ll need a new No. 2. It just so happens, the best player available on my draft board will fill that void at small forward just fine.
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson was a game away from helping lead the 2000-01 Bucks to the NBA Finals and will act as the perfect explosive player to partner with Giannis. While that iteration of Robinson had his worst shooting year from three (we’ll address that later) and won’t help like Middleton in that regard, he tied for the team lead in points per game (22.0), was a near-50% shooter from two (49.3%), and can keep Giannis fresh by helping out on the boards (6.9 rpg).
Round 3, Pick 11: 2001-02 Sam Cassell
With our two main focal pieces in the fold, it’s time to bring in someone to run the offense. We’ve got a lot of options on the board, but Cassell is both my best point guard left on the board and is a perfect fit. He has chemistry with Robinson, who he played with for three full seasons, and gives Giannis the best distributor of his young career.
You could make a case for any of Cassell’s four full seasons in Milwaukee, but we’re going with the 2001-02 version. Though he had his third-lowest assists per game rate as a Buck that year (6.7), it’s still substantial enough and he’ll provide plenty of scoring (19.7 ppg). Most importantly, we know Giannis flourishes when surrounded by shooters and Cassell had his second-highest 3-point percentage as a Buck that year (34.8%) with his highest volume of shots from distance in a Milwaukee uniform (2.8 per game).
Round 4, Pick 20: 2012-13 Brandon Jennings
Here comes the first dilemma of my draft. I want to add another outside shooter around Giannis, but a lot of the high-profile shooting guards are already off the table. So instead it’s time to play small ball and someone who also primarily played point guard. Brandon Jennings, welcome to Team Giannis.
Jennings’s 17.5 ppg that year was his second-highest mark as a Buck and his 6.5 apg were his highest. Having both he and Cassell’s ability to find scorers makes for some interesting opportunities. But our main goal, again, was outside shooting and Jennings put up 5.8 threes per game that year at a career-high 37.5% rate.
Round 5, Pick 21: 1988-89 Jack Sikma
Team Giannis needs a big man to round out the starting five, one who will protect the paint and allow Giannis to play his brand of defense, while maybe even stretching the floor offensively a bit. I wasn’t expecting to find Hall of Fame value at this position this late in the draft, so drafting Sikma was a steal!
Sikma was a seven-time All-Star prior to finishing his career in Milwaukee and he won a title with the SuperSonics so he brings championship pedigree. His 13.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg from ’88-’89 will be useful, but I want him for his 38% three-point percentage, the highest on my team so far. If he can get coached to take more than 2.8 attempts per game, Giannis will have found his new Brook Lopez.
Round 6, Pick 30: 1989-90 Ricky Pierce
Round six means you’re looking for your sixth man. Someone who brings scoring and energy off of the bench to keep the offense humming. What better option for a sixth man than someone who literally won two Sixth Man of the Year awards?
Pierce won both of his as a member of the Bucks, one of which came during the 1989-90 season. That year he scored a career-high 23.0 points per game, still an NBA record for a player who didn’t start a single game in a season. He didn’t do much besides score that year, or for his career for that matter, but that’s alright. I just want those points on the board!
Round 7, Pick 31: 2011-12 Ersan Ilyasova
We’ve got our energetic first guard off the bench, now how about a post player to spell let our star player rest from time to time? Someone who will bring energy and effort (sorry), and maybe step in and take a charge or two (or three). Hello, “Turkish Thunder.”
Ilyasova nearly averaged a double-double that year with 13.0 ppg and both a team-high and career-high 8.8 rebounds per game. He also set a career high with a blistering 45.5% three-point percentage, a key attribute that will allow my bench unit to bomb away.
Round 8, Pick 40: 1993-94 Eric Murdock
Every team needs a backup point guard, even though I already have two in my starting lineup. Murdock fills that need and then some. His 1993-94 season saw him average 15.3 ppg and 6.7 apg so he can both score and distribute to players like Pierce and Ilyasova. Not only can he also bomb away (he shot a career-high 41.1% from three that year), but he also gets to act as the teams defensive stopper, as his 2.4 steals per game tied for the sixth best season in Bucks history.
Round 9, Pick 41: 2009-10 Carlos Delfino
The well is starting to run dry with picks at this point, so we’ll keep with one of the main themes of this team and continue to hunt for shooting. Delfino gives Team Giannis another solid shooter from behind the arc (36.7%), and also fills my backup small forward slot. While his first two seasons as a Buck were similar in terms of statistical averages, he only played in 49 games in 2010-11 due to a nasty concussion, so we’re rolling with the version from the year prior, who also brings playoff experience.
Round 10, Pick 50: 1976-77 Swen Nater
The last pick in the draft can often be thought of as a throw away pick. But needing a backup center, I found incredible value by grabbing Nater, who averaged a double-double with 13.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg in his only season in a Bucks uniform. He also happens to be the only basketball player in history to lead both the NBA and ABA in rebounding for a season. Not bad for Mr. Irrelevant, eh?
*Please take the time to grade my team. You can go to the Dairyland Express Twitter link here and vote for how you think I did.