Lottery Look Back

Lottery Luck
A look back at past Bucks draft lotteries
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By Britt ClementMay 15, 2009

The Bucks have been in the lottery 12 times in franchise history (once with a pick acquired through a trade) and they’ve moved up twice, stayed in the same position five times and saw their pick drop five times, including their last two trips to the lottery.

I took a walk down memory lane to take a look at each lotto the Bucks participated in. Hopefully, these memories will get you excited for the lottery on the 19th and maybe bring some luck to Milwaukee and the Bucks.

1992
Projected selection: 7
Actual selection: 8

The Bucks are coming off a 31-51 record and make their first appearance in the NBA’s Draft Lottery – in it’s eighth year of existence. Although the team has been fortunate to be in the playoffs for the previous 12 seasons, lady luck doesn’t do much for the team as they drop from the seventh position to the 8th in the lottery.

A small aside before moving on to the Bucks pick, Milwaukee’s 12 year playoff run began after they drafted this guy with the fifth overall pick in the 1979 draft. I’ll admit that I’m terribly biased, but it’s no coincidence that after drafting Sidney Moncrief the Bucks were contenders year-in and year-out and you could pretty much pencil them in for 50+ wins each season. Todd Day was the Bucks selection with the eighth pick, their first pick in the top 10 since selecting Moncrief.

Like Moncrief, Day came from Arkansas and the hope was that he would be a similar player on the offensive and defensive end. He spent three-plus seasons with the club and averaged a career-high 16.0 points while playing in all 82 games in 1994-95. He was dealt, along with Alton Lister, for Sherman Douglas in November of 1995. While Sherman wasn’t a stud, I always liked watching him play for the Bucks. He didn’t shoot much (a novel idea for a point guard), shot over 50.0 percent from the field in his time with the Bucks and handed out more than five assists per game. Plus, as Jon McGlocklin always pointed out, he knew how to push the ball up the floor!

Here’s Sherm at #3 of the plays of the week getting Stevie Henson (then of the Bucks) to really bite on a fake dish … also note the Bucks Fred Roberts making the list and a clear error at number four where they’re in Orlando (not Miami) and it’s the Hawks, not the Heat.

1993
Projected selection: 6
Actual selection: 8

The Bucks enter their second lottery slotted at number six and drop again, back to number eight. It may have been for the best as the team tabs Vin Baker out of Hartford while the six and seven picks were Calbert Cheaney and Bobby Hurley, respectively.

For those of you who watched the Baker clip and heard him reference Kevin McHale, here’s a long highlight video of one of my favorite players. How big of a deal would McHale’s clothesline on Kurt Rambis be today? Then, the announcers said it was just part of the game, which I kind of agree with. Today that clip would be played over and over and there might even be an Outside the Lines special on it.

By the way, Baker is 16th in franchise history in points (5,922), eighth in rebounds (3,079) and seventh in blocks (429), so the pick worked out pretty well.

1994
Projected selection: 4
Actual selection: 1

The Bucks get their first lottery win as they go in with the fourth selection and come away with the first overall pick and select Glenn Robinson out of Purdue.

I don’t think I need to recap exactly what Robinson became a part of, but here are his rankings on the Bucks leader board: points (second, 12,010), scoring average (second, 21.14), field goals (third, 4,826), free throws (fourth, 2,070), three pointers (third, 494), games (seventh, 568), rebounds (fifth, 3,519), minutes (third, 21,262), steals (seventh, 689) and blocks (tenth, 351).

Robinson led the club with 21.9 points in his rookie year and the team won 14 more games than in the previous season.

1995
Projected selection: 9
Actual selection: 11

Milwaukee moves down via the lottery for the third time in four years as they start at nine and end up at 11. They draft Gary Trent, but deal him to Portland for Shawn Respert. Six out of the first seven picks were pretty solid, but the back half of the draft, starting with Respert at eight produced Ed O’Bannon, Kurt Thomas, Gary Trent, Cherokee Parks and Corliss Williamson, so we’ll move on…

1996
Projected selection: 4
Actual selection: 4

The Bucks draft spot holds for the first time and, interestingly, it starts a run of five consecutive holds – their only five in lotto history. At four the team drafts Stephon Marbury, but deals him for Ray Allen and Andrew Lang. I can’t find any Andrew Lang highlights on YouTube, but my memory of him was that he seemed to always dunk with one hand and hang on the rim a little. You rarely see the one hand hang these days.

That Ray Allen guy turned out to be pretty good for the Bucks. Meanwhile, friends of mine in Minnesota say they feel cheated that Marbury left and they didn’t have the chance to see what he and Garnett could’ve done… A few years later the Bucks and Timberwolves are in another swap that sends Terrell Brandon to Minnesota and Sam Cassell winds up in Milwaukee. Cassell helps Milwaukee to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals and the oft-injured Brandon is, what some of my Minnesota friends say, the best point guard they’ve had – when healthy. A few more years down the road, Cassell goes to Minnesota and they head to the Western Conference Finals.

1997
Projected selection: 10
Actual selection: 10

The Bucks enter with 10 and leave with 10 – Danny Fortson from Cincinnati. Fortson is sent to Denver along with Johnny Newman and the pride of Kohler, Wisconsin, Joe Wolf, for Ervin Johnson. Johnson becomes a key contributor to the aforementioned 2001 Eastern Conference Finals club.

Since that other Earvin Johnson guy dominates the youtube searches, here’s a top 10 that he’s featured in a couple times. And, for no reason at all, some highlights of the Dream Team.

1998
Projected selection: 9
Actual selection: 9

This is the year that really gets under my skin not only as a Bucks fan, but also as a basketball fan. On paper, yeah, the Bucks traded the number nine pick, Dirk Nowitzki, for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. It doesn’t look so good. However, Don Nelson has stated that Nowitzki was always going to be a member of the Mavericks. If they hadn’t worked out a deal with Milwaukee, Dallas would’ve selected him with the sixth pick. Amazingly, tons of media outlets still get this wrong.

I remember reading an article that said that Traylor always looked as if he had just noticed a parking ticket on his car. Ever since then, he’s always had that kind of look and body language to me. He was great in those Bucks commercials where they delivered seats in the late 90s though. And, thankfully, he was the last lottery pick for the team until 2002.

2002
Projected selection: 13
Actual selection: 13

Picking at 13 where they were initially slotted, the Bucks get Marcus Haislip out of Tennessee. Haislip played in a total of 70 games over two years with the Bucks, but couldn’t deliver on the promise his athletic abilities showed. The picks immediately after Haislip were Fred Jones, Bostjan Nachbar, Jiri Welsch, Juan Dixon and Curtis Borchardt. Tayshaun Prince was taken with the 23rd overall pick by Detroit.

2003
Projected selection: 8 (Atlanta’s pick)
Actual selection: 8

The Bucks made the 2003 playoffs, but had a lottery pick thanks to the Glenn Robinson trade with Atlanta. They stayed at the eighth slot and picked up T.J. Ford. For the record, Ford was pretty athletic too. With Ford starting at point guard for the Bucks they advanced to the playoffs. He suffered a spinal cord injury on February 24, 2004 and had to sit out until the start of the 2005-06 season.

2005
Projected selection: 6
Actual selection: 1

The Bucks make the jump from sixth to first and pick up Andrew Bogut with the first overall selection. The Bucks big-man averaged a double-double of 11.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 36 games this season. Here’s about two and a half minutes of Bogut dunks set to a different take on a Men at Work classic. You can keep up with the Bucks big man at www.andrewbogut.com.

2007
Projected selection: 3
Actual selection: 6

In one of the most-hyped drafts in recent memory, the teams slotted for the first three picks, Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee each drop the maximum amount. The Bucks select Yi Jianlian at number six overall. Yi was dealt to New Jersey as part of the deal that brought Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee on draft day 2008. In keeping with the video link theme, here’s a Chinese commercial with Yi.

2008
Projected selection: 7
Actual selection: 8

For the fourth time in the team’s lottery history, the club makes the eighth selection in the draft. Here’s a clip of Joe throwing one down on teammate Charlie Bell. Hopefully, he’ll be able to showcase his skills in the dunk contest next season – he was robbed this year!

That’s all of the Bucks lottery results/picks. Next week when the order is decided we’ll have more on draft history and eventually we’ll start rolling out the draft profiles.