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Best Milwaukee Bucks Draft Picks: Number 11, Paul Pressey

Getting a Closer Look at Paul’s Career, and What Could Have Been

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Bullets
Paul Pressey
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hi Bucks’ fans! Welcome to the all-time top Bucks’ draft picks, power ranked by the fan’s yourselves. We are counting down all the way from #12 to #1, and today we are on 80’s contributor Paul Pressey for the 11th spot. Don’t forget to vote below for who is number 10.


Paul Pressey was the 20th overall selection in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, from Tulsa University. According to basketball reference, Pressey was the 7th best player in that draft based on win-shares. He trails Dominique Wilkins, Terry Cummings, James Worthy, Ricky Pierce, Fat Lever and Sleepy Floyd.

Pressey was a 2x All-NBA defensive player in 1985 and 1986, and was on the second team in 1987. He had many seasons averaging approximately 13 points and 7 assists, and between 1985 and 1989 he averaged over 1.5 steals per game. His best similarity score is that of Rajon Rondo.


Pressey was known for his defensive acumen. As a wing-defender, and someone who somewhat stopped Michael Jordan in an 80‘s playoff series, he likely would be similar to a “three and D” type of player nowadays, even though he didn’t get a chance to shoot much from deep in the 80‘s.

He was a member of some very good Bucks’ teams, with the likes of Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson, and Junior Bridgeman, and then later with the likes of Terry Cummings, Jack Sikma, John Lucas and Ricky Pierce. So, he’s one of the three constants along with Moncrief and Bridgeman, and while his number probably shouldn’t be retired, he should be in the Bucks’ Hall of Fame (is there one?). Making All-Defense teams isn’t easy, ask Jrue Holiday, and to be frank, Pressey’s accolades career-wise aren’t that far off from what Jrue has now.

Pressey was basically never on a bad team in the NBA, as his final two full seasons of his career were with the San Antonio Spurs, and a disappointing end in Golden State. Those teams were led by David Robinson and others, and while they didn’t make huge noise they were competitive and played quality basketball. I think that kind of summarizes Pressey overall.

It’s why there aren’t a lot of “what-if’s” with Pressey. After leaving for the Spurs, he left the Bucks, along with Moncrief, in disarray. Did anybody know that Moses Malone played for the Bucks in the early 1990’s, because those teams (which were very bad despite that) are the ones he left behind. I don’t think a trio of Pressey, an old Malone and Jay Humphries would have kept the Bucks in the postseason, and definitely wouldn’t have made it past the Celtics or Bulls.


I think Pressey is the forgotten guy on the 80’s teams, because when you think of Bucks basketball in the 80’s, you start with Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson and Junior Bridgeman. You then go to Terry Cummings, Brian Winters, Jack Sikma, Ricky Pierce and Bob Lanier, and then you start getting into Pressey territory around here. It makes me wonder, are we going to think of Eric Bledsoe, Pat Connaughton and Brook Lopez with the same remembrance that guys like Bob Lanier and Jack Sikma get from older Bucks’ fans (I only bring up Bledsoe because he was a huge part of the rise to where we got in spite of his pitfalls)? You just wonder how those teams never made the Finals.

Anyways, Pressey was the guy who spent 8 of 10 seasons in the 1980’s with the Bucks, and he should be remembered as an all-time great. That’s kind of what we’re doing here, we’re remembering a glue guy who never got a lot of attention, but was a key staple of the great teams in the 80’s.

There you have it, Paul Pressey. Who’s next at #10?

Not who’s best, but who should be next on this list counting down to number one? Vote and comment below!


The 10th Best Bucks’ Draft Pick Was...

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Bob Dandridge
    (44 votes)
  • 15%
    Marques Johnson
    (32 votes)
  • 40%
    Michael Redd
    (82 votes)
  • 22%
    Glenn Robinson
    (47 votes)
205 votes total Vote Now