You Can’t Pick’em All: The Fall of the First Rounders


Rashad Vaughn Sent Packing to Brooklyn

The first week of February for Milwaukee started with the Bucks trading their 2015 first round draft pick, Rashad Vaughn, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Tyler Zeller. Besides the third year shooting guard, the Bucks also traded their 2018 second round pick that is protected until the year 2020. As the trade involving Vaughn does not come as a huge surprise to Milwaukee, its time to look back at the recent concerns in which the Bucks are not getting it right with their first round picks in the NBA Draft.

With the growth and success surrounding the Bucks organization, the talent pool has been filled by drafting a once in a lifetime player in Giannis Antetokounmpo and making smart trades. One in particular that landed Khris Middleton in the cream city. This team has been built by being patient and strategic in acquiring players through the draft that others overlooked. It has become an enigma to the fan base though as to why do the first round players picked up seem to be out shined by players who others would assume would be great in the G-League, not the NBA.

Three Drafts, Three Questionable Picks

Starting in 2015 with Vaughn, he is a player that was picked at a time when the Bucks needed additional shooters on the court to help compliment the length in the paint. Unfortunately, with Vaughn only having a career average 3.1 points per game while playing an average of 12.3 minutes, it was clear that Rashad would not be apart of owning the future. Moving on to the 2016 NBA Draft, it is still up in the air in regards to if Thon Maker was the correct choice with the 10th overall pick. With a player that has shows glimpses of potential, it is not certain that he can be the big man the Bucks need. Malcolm Brogdon on the other hand, who was the Bucks’ 2016 second round pick, has shown that he has earned his spot with this talented core.

Even jumping back to last year, the Bucks made a weary decision when taking Michigan alum D.J Wilson with the 17th overall pick. Sure, he is a player that physically fits the part with what the Bucks are trying to create on the court, but with little to none minutes played this season, fans are beginning to wonder if Wilson is going to be just another Vaughn. Sterling Brown though, who the Bucks acquired in the second round, has shown great defensive ability and strong chemistry on the court. It is becoming apparent that the Bucks have a pattern of being successful when it comes to the second round, not the first.

The Draft Should be a Time for the Bucks to Shine, Not Confuse the Fans

It is understandable that not every player a team drafts is going to become an NBA All-Star or even a starter in a team’s rotation. Being in the middle of the first round can also be a tough place to be due to the top players being gone and the uncertainty of who will become what with the players that remain. It just appears that the Bucks have been careless with their opportunities in the first and focus their eyes on the splash they can make in the second round. As much as the Bucks want to have control of their future, playing it safe will only get you so far. General Manager John Horst has taken an aggressive approach this 2017-18 season and hopefully that carries on to free agency and the draft. The bark shouldn’t be louder than the bite and for Milwaukee, the time is nearing for proving that they have been worthy of the noise all along.

About Melissa Colton

Melissa was born and raised in West Allis, WI, but currently resides in Milwaukee. She is a veteran of the United States Army and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport Management. She has worked in both the sports and music industry. Anything from Wisconsin, sports, food, and beer is her happy place.

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