The Milwaukee Bucks have seen some great players go through their ranks over the course of history as one of the most durable and stable NBA franchises since day one, although that hasn’t exactly translated into long term success and Championships.
The Bucks have seen players like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Ray Allen, Oscar Robertson and most recently Giannis Antetokounmpo lace them up, but have only been able to win one Larry O’Brien trophy so far since being founded back then in 1968.
Of course, most of that seems to be due to the fact that big name All-Stars don’t want to play for a small market and town and choose the flashy cities like New York, Miami of Los Angeles instead, but truth to be told, the team’s front office has made some huge screw ups that have led them to their lack of success.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 worst trades the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office has done so far, so if you’re a Bucks fan, you better take a chill pill or grab a cold one, as you’re definitely not going to enjoy this one.
5. Shaun Livingston 2012
The Milwaukee Bucks landed Samuel Dalembert, the Houston Rockets’ 14th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft to go along with a future Rockets’ 2nd rounder, sending them Jon Brockman, Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuer and their 12th pick of that same Draft, eventually landing John Henson but losing one of the most reliable backup point guards in the game in the process.
Of course, landing Henson isn’t exactly a flop, but considering they gave up a couple of consistent players for a guy that didn’t even suit up for the whole 82 games during the lone season he spent there and become a major flop, you shouldn’t be delighted to hear about this move.
4. Tobias Harris 2013
The Milwaukee Bucks seemed to have a very decent deal when they landed Ish Smith, Gustavo Ayon and a rental on JJ Redick from the Orlando Magic, considering Smith is a more than capable playmaker for the team’s second unit, Ayon was a very intriguing prospect and Reddick was already a proven killer from distance.
Still, none of those players actually thrived in Milwaukee, with Reddick leaving as soon as he had the chance, Ayon never being able to make the adjustment from FIBA ball to the NBA and Smith struggling to get anything going, but what made this move even worse is the fact that they had to part ways with Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih and Tobias Harris, one of the most consistent and underrated players in the league.
3. Ray Allen 2003
Back in the day, Ray Allen was a surging talent under George Karl’s tutelage, but the two didn’t get along (what a surprise, Karl hating stars) so the team’s front office had to part ways with their standout shooting guard and athletic freak, sending him to the Seattle Supersonics alongside Kevin Ollie, Ronald Murray and a 1st round pick in exchange for Desmond Mason and a rental on Gary Payton.
Needless to say, Allen’s game improved a lot during Seattle, averaging over 25 points per game while Gary Payton didn’t do much as a declining player since getting past his prime in Seattle, although Mason was a solid player through the 4 campaigns he played for the Bucks. Still, losing Ray Allen for pretty much nothing is something that will haunt them forever.
2. Dirk Nowitzki 1998
What if we told you that the Milwaukee Bucks could’ve landed Dirk Nowitzki and that he was actually a part of the organization for a brief moment? Well, back then in 1998, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted the German big man just to immediately deal him to the Dallas Mavericks alongside Pat Garrity in exchange for Robert Traylor, A.K.A “Tractor”.
Well, while Dirk Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA Championship, became a first ballot Hall of Famer, a perennial All-Star, one of the game’s greatest scorers and a top 3 foreign player in the history of the league, Tractor Traylor spent 7 seasons in the league with no significant accomplishments before trying his luck overseas.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1975
This trade actually fared quite well for both parties, as the Milwaukee Bucks landed 4 very capable players from the Los Angeles Lakers that would go on as very successful players in the team’s history, but what they had to give up to land them is definitely the reason why this has to go down as the worst trade in Bucks’ history.
For this trade to happen, they had to part ways with Walt Wesley and a guy you may know as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all time NBA leading scorer and a 5 time NBA Champion that was keen to make a move to a bigger market. Of course, keeping an unhappy player isn’t never the best option, but parting ways with a top 10 (perhaps even a top 5) player in the history of the game have to be something to regret for eternity.