5 Greatest Draft Steals in Milwaukee Bucks History
Now at the top of the league’s pecking order, the Milwaukee Bucks have built themselves into legitimate title contenders if the NBA season is ever resumed. You often don’t get to the point of being one of the league’s best teams without striking gold in the draft.
As a result, the Bucks have had their fair share of draft steals. From their beginning in the late 60s to the present day, Milwaukee has been able to fill their roster with impact players that have, for whatever reason, fallen in the draft.
The most recent addition to this list, a short career in Milwaukee is what’s holding Brogdon back from ranking higher on the list. Regardless, you don’t expect to draft the Rookie of the Year in the second round like the Bucks did in 2016.
Brogdon’s four years of experience in college proved valuable for Milwaukee the last three seasons where the former Virginia standout averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds with efficient 47/41/90 shooting splits while primarily coming off the bench.
4. Paul Pressey
Pressey was a do-it-all player for Milwaukee throughout the 80s and his impact is far greater than the 20th overall pick. By Pressey’s third season, the 6-foot-5 wing was putting up 16.1 points, 6.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
However, Pressey’s biggest impact came on the defensive side of the ball. He averaged 1.5 steals over his eight-year Bucks career and made the All-NBA Defensive Team for three consecutive years (twice on the first team).
3. Michael Redd
Redd doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the best scorers in the NBA during the 2000s. Still, the fact that Redd fell to the second round (43rd overall) in a historically weak 2000 draft class is even more impressive.
The 6-foot-6 wing only has one All-Star appearance to his name but his per-game averages 2003-2008 paint him as one of the best players in the NBA during that time.
During that time, Redd put up 23.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from deep. He remains a Bucks fan favorite still today and is truly one of the forgotten stars of his era.
2. Bob Dandridge
In 1969, only the second year of the team’s existence, the Bucks drafted UCLA phenom Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (then known as Lew Alcindor). Three rounds later with the 45th overall pick, Milwaukee chose a 6-foot-6 small forward out of small-school Norfolk State.
Dandridge didn’t have the impact that Kareem did but he was a star in his own right. Dandridge played nine of his 13 NBA seasons in Milwaukee and averaged 18 or more points per game in seven of them.
Three of his four All-Star appearances came as a member of the Bucks and although his All-NBA and All-Defensive Team selection came in 1979 as a member of the Washington Bullets, the fourth-round pick remains one of the best Bucks of all time and is now in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Who else could it be? The biggest draft steal in Bucks history just so happens to be their current superstar and 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Coming into the 2013 draft, the Greek Freak was a skinny, very raw young prospect that lacked polish and didn’t even play in Greece’s top league.
At just 25 years old, Antetokounmpo is already dominating the league with his unique mix of strength, length and athleticism. Antetokounmpo was in the midst of a career year putting up 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game with excellent defense to match.