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The current state of the Milwaukee Bucks is hard to explain. This was a team that had every intention of competing, as shown by the signings of veteran players like O.J. Mayo, Gary Neal and Zaza Pachulia this past offseason. Teams that are rebuilding or tanking don't often spend big money like that in free agency.
Of course, Milwaukee's past provided plenty of context clues as well. The Bucks always compete for the No. 8 seed, regardless of talent and regardless of how fruitless it may be.
As Jeremy Schmidt at Bucksketball.com explains briefly, this failed season has actually had a sort of reverse effect:
The Bucks are bad this season. A different kind of bad. The kind of bad that’s turned the average NBA fan in Milwaukee into a remote control savant on Saturday afternoons, keeping tabs on four or five college teams with potential high lottery picks. It’s been a while since this has happened, but damned if it isn’t a bit exciting.
Frankly, the Bucks needed this. The front office needs a wake-up call, and the team needs a potentially franchise-altering talent. This is the best thing that could have happened.
Still, there are some who would say that the Bucks have absolutely been disappointing because of the complete inability of the coaching staff to develop the talent already on the roster. There's also the whole part of being worse in the standings than the team that just tied the NBA record for the league's longest losing streak.
But back to the players. Larry Sanders has fallen off the face of the earth. Ersan Ilyasova has seen his stock plummet. O.J. Mayo isn't far off from being out of the league, and he's on contract for $8 million a year going forward. The veteran signings have all fizzled out.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Knight, John Henson and Khris Middleton have really been the only bright spots, but there's the natural fear that they'll eventually be ruined by organizational incompetence as well. There is hope present, but it's overshadowed by bad management and an uncertain arena situation.
Basically, the Bucks are just a constant disappointment, and no list like this would be complete without them.