In 2018-19, the Milwaukee Bucks finished first place in the Eastern Conference, with an NBA-best 60-22 record. They are currently playing the Raptors for a chance to get to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.
Bucks won 44 games and finished 7th in 2018. How did they get to 60 wins and best record? A look at how they built their current roster.
Mike Budenholzer is in his first year as Bucks head coach. He replaced Jason Kidd, who was fired halfway through the 2017-18 season. Coach Bud won Coach of the Year in 2015 with the Hawks and won 55% of his games in five years (273-219) making the playoffs in his first four seasons.
PG – Eric Bledsoe
Bucks acquired Bledsoe several weeks into the 2017-18 season, sending Greg Monroe and draft picks to Phoenix in return. Monroe played 20 games for the Suns, before being bought out and finishing last season with the Celtics. It may not be until 2020 until the Suns receive the first round picks from Bucks, due to the protections.
SG – Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon was a second round pick in the 2016 draft (36th overall) and was Rookie of the Year in 2017.
SF – Khris Middleton
Middleton was named to his first All Star team in 2019. In July 2013, Middleton was traded from the Pistons to the Bucks as part of a package that allowed Detroit to acquire Brandon Jennings. In addition to Middleton, Bucks acquired Brandon Knight and Viacheslav Kravtsov.
PF – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis was the Bucks first round pick in 2013, being drafted 15th overall. One of the best players in the NBA was picked 15th in a draft where Anthony Bennett was picked first overall by the Cavs. Others drafted before Giannis were Alex Len (5), Shabazz Muhammad (14)
C- Brook Lopez
Lopez was signed as a free agent in the summer of 2018 for $3.3 million. Meanwhile, the Lakers, the team he played for last year, signed free agents Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Javale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson for more money individually than for what Lopez signed for with the Bucks.
Hill was meant to be a key piece to the Cavs 2018 Finals team, but was traded mid-way through the 2018-19 season from Cleveland to Milwaukee for Matthew Dellavedova (and overpriced free agent from the famed summer of 2016) and John Henson, plus a pair of draft picks in 2021.
Bucks acquired Mirotic at the 2019 trade deadline from the Pelicans for four second round picks.
Acquired via trade in 2016 from Chicago for Michael Carter-Williams.
2018-19 is Ilyasova’s third stint with the Bucks. He previously played for the team from 2009-2015, after being a second round pick in 2005 (36th overall). He was signed a free agent in July 2018, after splitting time last season between the Hawks and 76ers.
17th pick in the 2018 NBA draft
Signed as a free agent in the summer of 2018 after beginning his career in Portland. He was initially a second round pick by the Nets in 2015 and also spent time playing baseball in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Second round pick in 2017 (46th overall)
Signed as a free agent after the 2019 trade deadline, after being bought out by the Spurs
First round pick in 2017 by the Bucks (17th overall)