Two out of the top six players from the 2002 draft are still playing in the NBA. And both of them happen to play for the Bucks: Mike Dunleavy (#3) and Drew Gooden (#4). Meanwhile, Yao Ming (#1), Jay Williams (#2), Nickoloz Tskitishvili (#5), and Dajuan Wagner (#6) are no longer in the league, for widely varying reasons.
In contrast to the draft one season earlier, the 2003 draft counts four present-day stars among its top six picks: LeBron James (#1), Carmelo Anthony (#3), Chris Bosh (#4), and Dwyane Wade (#5).
Most drafts fall somewhere in between the extremes of 2002 and 2003.
So it is true: Perhaps the only thing more unpredictable than the NBA Draft is what happens to the players and the teams after draft day. Just five of the 15 players currently on the Bucks (including unrestricted free agents) were even drafted by the Bucks in the first place.
Then when and where did the current Bucks start?
Pedigree: Brown averaged 20.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.8 blocks, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals as a high school senior at Glynn Academy (Georgia) and was named to the McDonald’s All-America Team, First-Team All-USA by USA Today, and First-Team All America by Parade Magazine.
Trivia: Brown had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Florida, prior to declaring for the 2001 draft.
Pedigree: As a sophomore at Duke, Dunleavy scored a team-high 21 points in a National Championship win against Arizona. He also averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds and helped lead Duke to the Final Four as a junior.
Trivia: Dunleavy was chosen one pick after Duke teammate Jay Williams in 2002.
Pedigree: Gooden enjoyed three standout seasons at Kansas, culminating in a junior year during which he averaged 19.8 points and 11.4 rebounds while leading his team to the Final Four. Gooden was also named the NABC Player of the Year and First-Team All-America by The Associated Press and Sporting News as a junior.
Trivia: Gooden has played for seven NBA teams that did not have the opportunity to draft him in 2002 – and nine teams total.
Pedigree: Livingston entered the draft straight out of high school after being named Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois as a senior at Peoria Central High (Illinois). The point guard was also named to the McDonald’s All-America team and Parade Magazine First-Team All America as a high school senior.
Trivia: Fellow Bucks point guard Beno Udrih was the #28 pick by the Kings in the same 2004 draft.
Pedigree: Udoh played two seasons at Michigan before transferring to Baylor. At Baylor, Udoh was named an Honorable Mention All-America as a junior.
Trivia: Udoh leads the 2010 draft class in blocked shots, with 188. Current teammate and #15 draft pick Larry Sanders is second, with 148.
Pedigree: As a high school senior, Jennings won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year, Parade Magazine Player of the Year, and EA Sports Player of the Year. After high school, Jennings signed with Lottomatica Roma (Italy), where he averaged 7.6 points in 16 Euroleague games.
Trivia: Jennings has played the most minutes (7171) of any player from the 2009 draft class.
Pedigree: A two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year, Sanders starred for three seasons at VCU. As a senior, Sanders averaged 14.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.
Trivia: Sanders teamed with Eric Maynor (#20 overall pick in 2009) as a freshman at VCU, and they are the only two players from the school to have played in the NBA since 1983.
Pedigree: Harris entered the draft after just one season at Tennessee, where he averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds starting full-time as a freshman.
Trivia: Harris is the cousin of Channing Frye, who currently plays for the Suns and was the #8 overall draft pick in 2005.
Pedigree: The first Argentine ever selected in the first round of the NBA draft, Delfino played for four international clubs prior to his NBA debut, including starting for prestigious Italian club Skipper Bologna in 2002-03.
Trivia: The Bucks chose point guard T.J. Ford in the 2003 draft (#8), but three other point guards from the same draft also ended up eventually playing point guard for the team: Luke Ridnour (#14), Steve Blake (#38), and Mo Williams (#47).
Pedigree: Prior to being drafted by the Spurs, Udrih played for four teams in Europe, including Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002-03. Udrih has also played for the Slovenian national team since 2000.
Trivia: Only four players from the 2004 draft class (Dwight Howard, Ben Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith) have played more NBA games than Udrih (562).
Pedigree: At age 18, Ilyasova made his debut with Ulker Istanbul (Turkey) during the 2004-05 season, and he won the 2005 Turkish National Cup with Ulker Spor Kulubu Istanbul (Turkey).
Trivia: Ilyasova was selected four spots in front of current Bucks guard Monta Ellis (#40) in the 2005 draft, who was chosen by the Warriors.
Pedigree: Mbah a Moute started in three straight Final Fours in his three seasons at UCLA, during which time his team went 97-17 in the regular season.
Trivia: Mbah a Moute has started 188 games in his first four seasons, more than #2 overall pick Michael Beasley (177).
Pedigree: Heavily recruited out of high school by schools such as North Carolina, Duke, and Arizona, Brockman instead stayed close to home, starring for four years at Washington. As a senior, he averaged 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds.
Trivia: Brockman was bookended in the draft by a pair of fellow power forwards who have had productive NBA careers: DeJuan Blair (#37) and Jonas Jerebko (#39).
Pedigree: Ellis became the first player in Mississippi high school state history to be named All-State four times, and his team appeared in the state final all four years. Named Mr. Basketball in the state of Mississippi after his senior season, Ellis declared for the draft.
Trivia: The Bucks chose Andrew Bogut with the #1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, and they ended up trading Bogut (along with Stephen Jackson) for Ellis (along with Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown) in 2012.
Pedigree: A First-Team All Big Ten selection by coaches as a senior, Leuer led Wisconsin averaging 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2010-11. He also finished third in the Big Ten in scoring as a senior and left school ranked 12th in career points at Wisconsin.
Trivia: Leuer ranked second among 2011 second round picks (and sixth overall) with a 15.3 PER.
My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 – almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.