Bucks NBA Draft Lottery history spans wide spectrum

Franchise has selected 15 lottery picks
by Truman Reed
Bucks.com Writer

It is doubtful that the Milwaukee Bucks will ever make a more impactful draft choice than they did in 1969, when they snared Lew Alcindor – later to be known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – with the first overall selection.

Few draftees in the National Basketball Association’s history have changed the fortunes of a franchise to the degree that the three-time UCLA All-American did for the Bucks, leading them from worst to first faster than any team in American professional sports history to that point in time.

Beginning in 1985, the NBA introduced a lottery system in response to accusations that teams were deliberately losing regular-season games in order to secure the worst season record and subsequently the chance to obtain the No. 1 overall draft pick.

The lottery involved a random drawing of an envelope from a hopper. Inside each of the envelopes were the names of the non-playoff teams. The team whose envelope was drawn first received the first pick, and the process was repeated until the remainder of the lottery picks were determined.

In this system, each non-playoff team had an equal chance of getting the first pick. The rest of the first-round picks were determined in reverse order of the win-loss records.

Beginning in 1987, the NBA altered the lottery system so that only the first three picks were determined by the lottery. After the three envelopes were drawn, the remaining non-playoff teams selected in reverse order of their win-loss records. The team with the worst record could receive no worse than the fourth selection, the second-worst team could pick no lower than fifth, etc.

In 1990, the NBA again changed the lottery format to give the team with the worst record the best chance of landing the first pick. Like the previous system, this weighted lottery was also used only to determine the first three picks, while the rest of the teams selected in reverse order of their win-loss records.

In 1993, the NBA modified the lottery system again to give the team with the worst record a higher chance to win the lottery and to decrease the better teams' chances to win. The new system increased the chances of the worst team obtaining the first pick in the draft from 16.7 percent to 25 percent, while decreasing the chances of the best non-playoff team from 1.5 percent to 0.5 percent.

Since the inception of the lottery in 1985, the Milwaukee Bucks have drafted15 lottery picks.

Four of them now rank among the top 20 scorers in the franchise’s history.

Four of them combined for a total of 20 NBA All-Star Game selections.

Several of them never played a single game for the Bucks after their draft rights were traded to other NBA teams.

Two of them have played fewer than 100 career NBA games.

The Bucks, who finished the 2013-14 NBA season with a 15-67 record, hold a 25.0 percent chance of landing the No. 1 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 26. The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday, May 20, in New York.

The following is a compendium of the Milwaukee Bucks’ past NBA Lottery picks:

Who’s No. 1?

A roster of No. 1 overall NBA Draft selections since the inception of the lottery:

1985 - Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
1986 - Brad Daugherty, Los Angeles Clippers (conveyed to Cleveland Cavaliers via Philadelphia 76ers)
1987 – David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
1988 – Danny Manning, Los Angeles Clippers
1989 – Pervis Ellison, Sacramento Kings
1990 – Derrick Coleman, New Jersey Nets
1991 – Larry Johnson, Charlotte Hornets
1992 – Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando Magic
1993 – Chris Webber, Orlando Magic
1994 – Glenn Robinson, Milwaukee Bucks
1995 – Joe Smith, Golden State Warriors
1996 – Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
1997 – Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
1998 – Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers
1999 – Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls
2000 – Kenyon Martin, New Jersey Nets
2001 – Kwame Brown, Washington Wizards
2002 – Yao Ming, Houston Rockets
2003 – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2004 – Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
2005 – Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks
2006 – Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
2007 – Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers
2008 – Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
2009 – Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
2010 – John Wall, Washington Wizards
2011 – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers (via the Los Angeles Clippers)
2012 – Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets
2013 – Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers