The NBA Draft Lottery will be held Wednesday night and the Milwaukee Bucks will find out if they are staying in the No. 12 position, or moving up or down in the draft. But, if history shows, whoever the Bucks end up taking may never set foot in Milwaukee. Here is an all-time team of Bucks draft picks that never donned the green and white.
Stephon Marbury would run the show for this team. The No. 4 overall pick in the 1996 draft out of Georgia Tech, "Starbury" was part of a draft day trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ray Allen and a 1998 1st round draft pick, who turned out to be Rasho Nesterovic. Still active overseas, Marbury was a two-time All Star, led league in assists in 2003-04 and was All-NBA third team in 1999-2000 & 2002-03. In his 12-year NBA career, Marbury averaged 19.3 points, 7.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Julius Erving would be the shooting guard on this squad. Yes, Dr. J could have teamed up with Oscar Robertson and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and drastically altered the club's history – perhaps Abdul-Jabbar would've wanted to stay after Robertson retired after the 1973-74 season. But, despite taking Erving No. 12 overall in the 1972 draft, the Bucks could not convince him to leave the Virginia Squires of the ABA. Erving stayed in that league until the 1976-77 season. Once in the NBA, he was an 11-time All-Star, the league MVP in 1980-81, a five-time All-NBA First Team selection and won a title in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hall of Famer averaged 24.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting over 50-percent from the field.
Dirk Nowitzki would be the "small forward" on this team. The No. 9 overall pick in the 1998 draft who was part of a draft day trade to Dallas for Robert "Tractor" Traylor, Nowitzki just completed his 14th season in NBA. The future Hall of Famer is an 11-time All-Star, was NBA MVP in 2006-07, was the NBA Finals MVP during the Mavericks championship season of 2010-11. He is also a 4-time All-NBA First Teamer. For his career, Nowitzki averages 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 38-percent from the 3-point line and 47.5-percent from the field.
With three huge scorers in Dr. J, Nowitzki and Marbury, you need some guys who can do the dirty work on the front line. This is where Danny Fortson, the No. 10 pick in the 1997 draft comes in. The big man out of the University of Cincinnati was dealt in a draft day trade with Johnny Newman and Joe Wolf to the Denver Nuggets for Ervin Johnson. He played 10 years and was widely known as one of the best offensive rebounders in the league. For his career, he averaged 8.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
The same can be said for Jason Collier, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2000 draft. The center proved to be a bust after a draft day trade sent him, along with the Bucks' 2001 first round draft pick (Jeryl Sasser), to the Houston Rockets for Joel Przybilla. The 7-footer played in only five NBA seasons, averaging 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds. But on this team, he'd only have to worry about clearing boards and playing some defense while scoring easy points inside due to the constant double-teams sent Nowitzki's way.
Bobby Phills would be the sixth man on this team. The guard was a second round (No. 45 overall) pick by the Bucks in the 1991 draft out of Southern University and A&M College but waived that December having never played a game. He went on to have 9-year NBA career before dying in car accident. Not that this team would need extra offense, but Phills would be able to come in and fill it up, as well as play some defense. He was a career 11 point per game scorer and was named to the All-Defensive 2nd Team in 1995-96
Eric Snow would be a great sub for Marbury, as the pass-first point guard out of Michigan State was drafted by the Bucks in the second round (No. 43) in 1995. He was part of a draft day trade to the Seattle SuperSonics for Aurelijius Zukauskas and a 1996 second round draft pick (Jeff Nordgaard). He played 13 years in the NBA and was an All-Defensive Second Team pick in 2002-03. He also went to Finals with Philadelphia in 2000-01 and Cleveland in 2006-07.
Guard Mario Elie was picked by the Bucks in the seventh round (No. 160) of the 1985 draft out of American International College, but was waived that summer. He was out of NBA for five years before resurfacing to have a solid 11-year career, winning three championships (two in Houston, one in San Antonio). On this team, having a player that knows his role – and accepts it – would be key.
That's also why Keith Bogans makes the rotation. The Bucks second round pick (No. 43) in 2003 out of Kentucky just completed his ninth season and can defend multiple positions. He was part of a draft day trade to the Orlando Magic for cash.
Depending on foul trouble or in the event of injury, Voshon Leonard might get a few more minutes than some of the other bench players because of his 3-point shooting ability. A second round pick (No. 46) in 1994 out of University of Minnesota, Leonard was waived by Bucks in October of 1995 having never played. He went on to have a solid 11-year NBA career, scoring 11.9 points per game.
The forgotten man in the Nowitzki trade, the Bucks also took forward Pat Garrity in 1998 at No. 19 overall. He was also traded to Dallas for Traylor. He had a nice 10-year career, averaging 7.3 points per game and was a 39.8-percent 3-point shooter.
The Bucks took guard Winston Garland out of Missouri State University in the second round (No. 40) of the 1987 draft, but waived him in November. He went on to play seven years, averaging 9.4 points and 4.7 assists.
The man charged with waving towels and getting the stars water on this team may yet become something himself – but it's far too early to tell. Last year, the Bucks took guard Jimmer Fredette with the No. 10 overall pick before sending him (along with some veterans) elsewhere in a three-team deal that brought Tobias Harris, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih to Milwaukee. In his rookie season, Fredette averaged 7.6 points and shot 38-percent from field and 36-percent from the 3-point line.
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.