Milwaukee Bucks: Success and failure of previous drafts

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Considering that the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina had one-sixth of the 60 collegiate players drafted in yesterday’s NBA draft, it’s not surprising that the Bucks decided to select one player from each of those schools for their two 2012 draft choices. North Carolina’s John Henson was the team’s first round selection and Kentucky’s Doron Lamb was the second round choice.

It will be some time before we can determine if these selections were the right choices, or if these players were worthy of being chosen among the 60 picks. Like many NBA teams, the Bucks have had their share of hits and misses with the draft. For some drafts, a player chosen spends a good portion of their career with the team that selected them; for others, a player may be drafted by a team and find success in the league with another team after a trade or after departing via free agency.

In the Bucks 44-year history, they have chosen a handful of college players in the draft who have gone on to have great NBA careers. Some have had long careers in Milwaukee, others had only a short stay with the club, and others were drafted and never put on a Bucks uniform.

Using points scored as a measuring stick, here’s a look at the players who had the most success in the NBA after being drafted by the Bucks. Following are the players drafted by the Bucks who scored 10,000 or more points in their NBA career.

Player, NBA career points (draft year by Bucks)

Lew Alcindor, 38,387 (first round, first overall pick of 1969)

Alex English, 25, 613 (second round, 23rd overall pick of 1976)

Dirk Nowitzki, 24, 134 (first round, ninth overall pick of 1998)

Julius Erving, 18, 364 (first round, 12th overall pick of 1972)

Stephon Marbury, 16,297 (first round, fourth overall pick of 1996)

Bob Dandridge, 15,536 (fourth round, 45th overall pick of 1969)

Glenn Robinson, 14,234 (first round, first overall pick of 1994)

Marques Johnson, 13,892 (first round, third overall pick of 1977)

Michael Redd, 11,972 (second round, 43rd overall pick of 2000)

Sidney Moncrief, 11931 (first round, fifth overall pick of 1979)

Vin Baker, 11839 (first round, eighth overall pick of 1993)

Three of the players above, Nowitzki, Erving and Marbury never put on a Bucks uniform in their career. Nowitzki was a draft day trade to Dallas (with Pat Garrity) in exchange for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Erving decided to begin his career in the ABA and didn’t enter the NBA until 1976. Marbury was a draft day trade to Minnesota in exchange for Ray Allen and a 1998 first round draft choice.

On the other extreme, there have been players drafted by the Bucks in the first round who have not panned out; not only with the Bucks, but also as NBA players.

Following are the 10 players who were drafted by the Bucks in the first round that played less than 200 career games in the NBA.

Draft Year: Player, College, NBA games

1968: Charlie Paulk, Northeastern State University, 120

1970: Gary Freeman, Oregon State, 52

1971: Collis Jones, Notre Dame, o

1972: Russ Lee, Marshall, 97

1984: Kenny Fields, UCLA, 184

1991: Kevin Brooks, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 126

1994: Eric Mobley, Pittsburgh, 113

2000: Jason Colllier, Georgia Tech, 151

2002: Marcus Haislip, Tennessee, 89

2008: Joe Alexander, West Virginia, 67

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