As fans of the Milwaukee Bucks, we all know the big names. From Big O to Kareem to newer names like Michael Redd and Giannis, they are very familiar for what they did in a Bucks uniform. Now, when it comes to these next five players, while they may be known for what they accomplished in Milwaukee, those accomplishments could have been much greater. So, without further ado, here is the All-Time What If Team for your Milwaukee Bucks.
PG: T.J. Ford
- Seasons played w/ MIL: 2
- Career stats w/ MIL: 10.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.3 SPG
- Accomplishments: All-Rookie 2nd Team
Man, where to start with T.J. Ford? For one, he definitely was not the biggest horse in the stable, as they might say. Clocking in at six feet tall and 165 pounds, he was a diminutive guard even in a time where those around his stature were much more common. However, while this may not have allowed him to score at will, nor was he a great shooter, he was a heck of a playmaker and defender. In his rookie year out of Texas, he would average a cool 6.5 assists and 1.1 steals a night while putting up a respectable 7.1 points per game. Things were looking good for the young point dynamo. That is, until one fateful game near the end of that rookie season.
In a March game against the Timberwolves, Ford was fouled by Minnesota’s Mark Madsen and was sent to the floor. He landed on his tailbone. Ford would be taken off the court on a stretcher. He was later diagnosed with spinal stenosis, for which surgery would take away the final 20+ games of the regular season and the playoffs. On top of that, he would miss the entirety of what was to be his sophomore season. He was better when he came back, averaging 15.3p/9a/2.5s per game over the first six games of the 2005-06 season. He also scored 34 against Orlando later that season, a career-high for him with the team.
Ford would leave after his “second” season for Toronto. He had a few more solid seasons, but his injuries simply always caught up to him. He was out of the league after the 2011-12 season at the age of just 29 years old.
SG: Ray Allen
- Seasons played w/ MIL: 6+
- Career stats w/ MIL: 19.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 SPG
- Accomplishments: 3x All-Star, All-Rookie 2nd Team
Now we get to the man that causes many Bucks fans to shake their head when they hear the name of George Karl. Ray Allen was one of the trio of men, along with Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell, who ushered the Bucks through one of their premier eras in the late 90s and early 2000s. Allen used his time in Milwaukee to show the potential that would eventually come to the surface and propel him to the Hall of Fame. For one, while he was always a shooter, never shooting below 35.6% from deep, he really ramped it up in his last three full seasons in the (then) purple and green. He averaged 43% on 8.4 attempts per game from 1999-00 through 2001-02.
A Disappointing Departure
If you want to see how electrifying he made the Bradley Center night in and night out during this time, go check out any of their 2001 series against the Hornets or Sixers. It’s really something to behold. Anyway, his time in Milwaukee would come to a sudden end during the 2002-03 season. He was dealt to the Seattle SuperSonics for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. While the latter two would go on to have their own different careers in Milwaukee, Allen would simply evolve further out West. He averaged essentially 23/4/4 and over a steal per game on 39% shooting from three. Ray Allen is the epitome of both what was but also what could have been.
SF: Joe Alexander
- Seasons played w/ MIL: 1
- Career stats w/ MIL: 4.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.7 APG
Now we arrive at one of the biggest busts in Bucks history, Joe Alexander. Alexander had a solid junior season at West Virginia. He averaged nearly 17 points along with 6.4 rebounds per game. His production led the Bucks to select Alexander with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft. Unfortunately, due to several factors, his time in Milwaukee was short-lived. On of these was the lack of playing time. At the time Richard Jefferson was ahead of him on the depth chart. He was soon sent down to the then-D League and later traded to the Chicago Bulls in a package centered around the Bulls’ John Salmons.
At the end of the day, Alexander may not have turned out to be anything particularly special, but this is about what if’s, is it not? When it comes down to it, due in large part to his high draft placement, Joe Alexander deserves a mention in this regard.
PF: Jabari Parker
- Seasons played w/ MIL: 4
- Career stats w/ MIL: 15.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG
Oh boy, was I interested in writing about this one from the jump. Jabari Parker may just be the biggest what if in the history of this franchise. We saw more than enough of what he was capable of, even in the short stretches that he showed it. Simply put, Parker and Giannis would have likely made a formidable duo if they were to have been able to stay together. However, things just did not fall into place.
Drafted at number two in the middle of a much-hyped trio of prospects that included Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Parker shined in his one year at Duke. He averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He also averaged a touch over one steal and block per game while achieving All-American and All-ACC honors in the process. Coming into the NBA, Parker showed flashes of brilliance in his first 25 games. He had double-doubles in his second and third games and a season-high of 23 against Brooklyn in November of 2014.
The Injury Bug
Then, just a month later, it came to a screeching halt for Parker. He tore his ACL against the Phoenix Suns, ending his season. He would return to the team around 11 months later, and go on to average 14.1 points in a second season in which he played 76 games.
His third year, though, would prove disastrous again, as he tore the ACL in his left knee against the Miami Heat. This one was equally as damaging, not just based on that it was his second such injury in just three years, but because Parker had also been playing lights out prior to the injury. He was averaging 20.1 points over the previous 16 games. Parker was simply not able to recover following his second ACL tear. He played just 31 games in his fourth season before signing with Chicago. He went on to play tenures of a cup of coffee with three teams beyond the Bulls, and currently, at 25, is not signed to an NBA roster.
C: Andrew Bogut
- Seasons played w/ MIL: 7
- Career stats w/ MIL: 12.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 BPG
- Accomplishments: All-NBA 3rd Team, All-Rookie 1st Team, Blocks Leader (2010-11)
Andrew Bogut is another case of someone who showed significant flashes of potential, but just never quite reached the heights that he potentially could have. From the University of Utah via Australia, the Bucks took Bogut with the first pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He is not considered the best pick of this draft. After all, Chris Paul and Deron Williams were drafted after him. Bogut more than held his own, though. This is especially true in a stretch from 2006-07 to 2010-11. He averaged a double-double three times, two blocks or more twice, and a slash line of 13.6p/10r/1.8b per night. However, injuries would simply take their toll over the course of his time in Milwaukee.
- Sprained left foot, missed 15 games
- Stress fracture in back, missed 31 games
- Broken hand/dislocated elbow/sprained wrist, missed the remainder of 2009-10 season
So yes, Andrew Bogut was one of the best players in his draft class and showed moments of brilliant potential. He even went on to become a world champion during his time with the Golden State Warriors. However, his inability to escape the injury bug, through no fault of his own, earns Andrew Bogut a spot on this list.