Reshaping The Late ’90s & Early ’00s Bucks Teams
All of us need content right now. Hell, I started to look around for potential content today, and it is a desert. Some days are much better than others. But we all need content right now. The Ringer is trying to help us through these tough times. Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo are trying to help us. They’re redrafting the NBA Draft from 1996 to 2003. Currently, they have done the first three drafts from 1996 to 1998. If you don’t remember, the Milwaukee Bucks were not very good at that time. Milwaukee started to build up to the 2001 Bucks team. Let’s wondering what this team would look like instead of what they were.
1996: Jermaine O’Neal instead of Ray Allen – This is an iconic draft for the Milwaukee Bucks. Now in the redraft, Allen goes third, so, he would not be available for the Bucks. Simmons and Russillo were glowing towards Allen. Therefore, the answer is a young Jermaine O’Neal. At that time, O’Neal is a young 19-year-old, and in the mid-90s, there is a stigma against high school athletes. Portland buried O’Neal on the bench then he blew up when playing for Indiana. By the time, Bucks made the Eastern Conference Finals, O’Neal averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds.
This would have been interesting for Milwaukee for obvious reasons. Losing Allen is a major loss, and I’m not sure how the Bucks recovered from it. But adding a dominant power forward is a big move for them. They did have Anthony Mason at that time, but Mason had mailed things by that time. He is known as a historic boozer and played in Milwaukee. That is always a good combination!
1997: Derek Anderson instead of Danny Fortson – Okay, here’s the thing about the 97 draft. Danny Fortson never played in Milwaukee. They traded him on draft day in one of the wilder trades. They traded Fortson, Johnny Newman, Joe Wolf for Ervin Johnson. Now Fortson had a so-so career, but they traded three fucking players including a first-rounder for Ervin ‘Tragic’ Johnson?! Anderson dealt with injuries throughout his career but would have been a solid bench contributor for the early 2000s Bucks team. He did bounce around early in his career going from Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio and then got paid by Portland.
1998: Mike Bibby instead of Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor – All in on this idea. Bucks acquired Sam Cassell later this season, and that probably would not happen with Bibby. This saved Milwaukee from having to deal with the embarrassment of being part of the Dirk Nowitzki trade. That trade is overrated honestly. Bucks had no idea about Nowitzki which is on them, but that surprised no one if you knew the ’90s, Bucks. Bibby was an integral part of the 2000-2001 Sacramento Kings team that made the Western Conference Finals.
If you’re thinking about the Bucks that rose to the top of the Eastern Conference, the team would have Glenn Robinson, Mike Bibby, and Jermaine O’Neal. The young Bucks would look like they’re building something special. Bucks did not have much of a presence in the next few drafts though. They didn’t have a pick in 1999 and drafted 15th in 2000 then 13th in 2002 and 8th in 2003.