Bucks Lottery History
The Bucks almost never move up in the lottery, which works out just fine this year.
In 14 previous trips to the draft lottery since the weighted system was introduced in 1990, the Bucks have moved up just twice, moved down five times, and stayed the same seven times.
Now the Bucks carry the lead position and a 25.0% chance to land the first overall pick into the draft lottery on May 20.
With that in mind, here is a quick journey through the fate of previous top lottery spot holders since 1990.
1990 – Nets – #1 – Derrick Coleman
He was a dominant college player, won Rookie of the Year, became an All-Star, and averaged 20 and 10 over five seasons with the Nets. Coleman was the very reasonable choice, though here is where someone might mention Gary Payton (#2).
1991 – Nuggets – #4 – Dikembe Mutombo
They missed out on Larry Johnson (#1), Kenny Anderson (#2), and Billy Owens (#3), but this is a swell example of falling into a better position. Mutombo was the best player in this draft, and he gave the Nuggets some of his prime years.
1992 – Timberwolves – #3 – Christian Laettner
Perhaps the Timberwolves are not thrilled. Shaquille O’Neal (#1) was the prize and Alonzo Mourning (#2) was the consolation. Laettner had a nice first year in Minnesota and turned in a solid career, but this one hurts a bit.
1993 – Mavericks – #4 – Jamal Mashburn
Not the best time to slide, as the Mavericks did not have a chance at Chris Webber (#1) or Penny Hardaway (#3). Dallas has been so good for so long that it is difficult to remember just how bad they were in the early 1990s. They went 11-71, by far the worst in the league, to earn the top shot at the number one pick, and then remained the worst in the league at 13-69 after drafting Mashburn.
1994 – Mavericks – #2 – Jason Kidd
This was the year the Bucks jumped from four to one and picked Glenn Robinson. Dallas chose Kidd over Grant Hill (#3), and though Kidd is a one of the greats, it didn’t work for him with the Mavericks, and he was traded to the Suns in his third year.
1995 – Clippers – #2 – Antonio McDyess
McDyess ended up with a comparable career to Joe Smith (#1), so falling to number two didn’t really make a difference. Kevin Garnett (#5) was the real hit of the draft, but he was re-starting the preps-to-pros route and GMs weren’t quite ready to embrace.
1996 – 76ers – #1 – Allen Iverson
Note: The Grizzlies actually had the worst record going into this draft, but the Raptors and Grizzlies were ineligible to win the lottery in their first three years due to their expansion agreements. On to Iverson, who was an MVP, who carried a 76ers team to the Finals whose second best player was… Aaron McKie? Even though the 76ers technically did not get the top overall player from this draft class, this is pretty much exactly what you want.
1997 – Celtics – #3 – Chauncey Billups
In a year with an obvious best player waiting at the top of the draft, the Celtics went all-in on being the worst team in the NBA. Unfortunately for Boston, they fell to third while the Spurs jumped to first and picked Tim Duncan (#1). They were fine missing out on Keith Van Horn (#2), but they dealt Billups way before he turned into a premier point guard.
1998 – Nuggets – #3 – Raef Lafrentz
Quite a draft. The Clippers went with Michael Olowokandi (#1) and then the Grizzlies picked Mike Bibby (#2). Despite falling in the lottery, the Nuggets still had a chance at guys like Dirk Nowitzki (#9), Vince Carter (#5), Paul Pierce (#10), and Antawn Jamison (#4).
1999 – Grizzlies – #2 – Steve Francis
Elton Brand (#1) had some fantastic peak seasons, and he was a very good player immediately in the pros and for his first eight seasons. He was even still out there for the Hawks in the playoffs this season too. Francis, that didn’t go over so well for the Grizzlies. He forced his way out, and the Grizzlies really had little to show for this.
2000 – Clippers – #3 – Darius Miles
The infamous 2000 draft, also, the Michael Redd draft. Kenyon Martin (#1) was the consensus top pick, and he did well, though injuries robbed him of more. Stromile Swift (#2) did not. The Miles pick was fun and even sensible, a worthy gamble.
2001 – Bulls – #4 – Eddy Curry
The Bulls missed out on Kwame Brown (#1), Tyson Chandler (#2), and Pau Gasol (#3). But then they made a draft day trade built around Elton Brand to acquire Chandler. The Bulls went through three different coaches in the first season (21-61) of the Curry/Chandler frontcourt, and it never really worked out. Curry peaked in his second season when he led the league in field goal percentage, and Chandler peaked after his five seasons in Chicago.
2002 – Bulls/Warriors – #2 Jay Williams (Bulls) – #3 Mike Dunleavy (Warriors)
Yao Ming (#1) was the consensus top player.
2003 – Cavaliers/Nuggets – #1 LeBron James (Cavaliers) – #3 Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets)
The Nuggets missed out on James (#1) and Darko Milicic (#2), which is like missing out on two very, very different things.
2004 – Magic – #1 – Dwight Howard
The last top lottery team to actually win the lottery, and the Magic picked a good year for good fortune.
2005 – Hawks – #2 – Marvin Williams
Moving up from six all the way to one, the Bucks picked Andrew Bogut (#1). Williams, the consensus number two prospect, has not been the equal of either Bogut or the two players drafted after him, Deron Williams (#3) and Chris Paul (#4). Not the best lottery luck (or pick) for Atlanta in this one.
2006 – Trail Blazers – #4 – Tyrus Thomas
Portland missed out on Andrea Bargnani (#1), Lamarcus Aldridge (#2), and Adam Morrison (#3). But they pulled off a very nice draft day trade that swapped Thomas for Aldridge, so this was a good day, they ended up with the best player among the top four picks.
2007 – Grizzlies – #4 Mike Conley
This draft. The Grizzlies picked a good player in Conley, but they also missed out on Kevin Durant (#2) and Al Horford (#3)… and Greg Oden (#1). Meanwhile, the Bucks moved down from three to six and ended up with Yi Jianlian (#6). The Sonics were the real winners, moving all the way up from five to two to draft Durant. When you hear about the Thunder Model, please understand that the first part and most important part of the “plan” was lucking into Durant. That is not intended to be swipe at the team at all, rather, it is a declaration of the role of luck inherent in this game. They have made the most of it, mostly.
2008 – Heat – #2 – Michael Beasley
Somewhat similar to the draft this year, this one was filled with a row of hyped freshmen, including Derrick Rose (#1), Michael Beasley (#2), O.J. Mayo (#3), Kevin Love (#5), and Eric Gordon (#7). Of course there is massive variation in how we see these players now, just like there probably will be about the top prospects from this upcoming draft a few years down the line.
2009 – Kings – #4 – Tyreke Evans
Evans actually won Rookie of the Year after a 20-5-5 line back in 2009, but he plateaued right then and there. In the meantime, Blake Griffin (#1) and James Harden (#3) turned into superstars. There was also Hasheem Thabeet (#2).
2010 – Nets – #3 – Derrick Favors
Big difference between John Wall (#1) and Evan Turner (#2). In any event, the Nets traded Favors in his rookie year to the Jazz in a deal to get Deron Williams.
2011 – Timberwolves – #2 – Derrick Williams
This draft class is still trying to find its way, and Williams is among the leaders in being lost. Kyrie Irving (#1) is very good at basketball, to be determined how very good.
2012 – Bobcats – #2 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
These Bobcats were one of the worst teams in modern history, and they were rewarded with the number two pick in a draft with one great prospect, Anthony Davis (#1).
2013 – Magic – #2 – Victor Oladipo
As it is, the number two spot – Anthony Bennett (#1) – was probably the best spot for Orlando.