* The Bucks are in the process of trying to secure financial and political support for a new arena. However, over the past decade the team has faded from the public interest because the team roster and results have been uninspiring to the local fan base and community.
* Conventional wisdom around the NBA believes that the Bucks, while not successful are at least “competitive.” However, they have only the 23rd best regular season winning percentage since 1991
* By other performance metrics, the Bucks have been a bottom five franchise in the NBA since 1991. They have had only one 50-win season (2001), and only one year where they advanced past the first round of the playoffs (again in 2001).
* The Bucks have had only one All-Star the past decade, Michael Redd (2004). On most all-star weekends, the Bucks have zero participants, whether it is the actual game itself or even the peripheral events such as the rookie/sophomore game or three point shooting contest.
* The lack of meaningful team success along with a lack of exciting players has caused attendance at the BMO Harris Bradley Center to continue to decline. In 2001-02, the season after the Eastern Conference Finals appearance, the team drew an average of 18,178 to games. The past few seasons the team has finished in the bottom five in attendance, averaging approximately 15,000 fans per game. Games against marquee teams and players such as Kobe Bryant and Lakers or Dwayne Wade the Miami Heat no longer sell-out. The entire upper bowl of the BMO Harris Bradley Center is generally empty against lesser opponents.
* The team’s lack of success is not due to the small market, but rather caused by poor management. Ironically, both the small market Green Bay Packers and small market Milwaukee Brewers went through similar twenty-year stretches of futility and were able to turn things around when major management changes were made.
* For decades the Bucks have employed a very chaotic management structure that consists of a number of long-time front office people, supplemented by whoever are the head coach and general manager at the time. All of these individuals have some degree of decision making power, which is either supported or vetoed by the owner, Senator Kohl, on a case-by-case basis.
* The Bucks will only exist in Milwaukee if Senator Kohl at some future date agrees to forgo perhaps up to $200 to $250 million of potential profit he would otherwise realize by selling the franchise to buyer from Seattle or another larger market. However, it will take more than the generosity of Senator Kohl to keep the team here. The fan base must provide more support to the political community to find a solution for a new arena.
* The support from the community will only come if the team experiences much greater success on the court, with a better record and more exciting players. This may not be possible though, since the Bucks have been reluctant to rebuild the franchise from the ground up with top-five draft picks, instead relying on veteran journeyman players and mid-first round draft picks, who do not supply the talent needed to “move the needle.”
* Historically, any success the franchise has ever had was due to players selected by the Bucks in the top-five of the NBA draft. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marques Johnson, Sidney Moncrief, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen and Andrew Bogut. The Bucks have never had a 50-win team, nor won a playoff series, without a successful, home-grown top-five pick on their roster
* By a large statistical margin, the top NBA players as defined by two or more appearances on an All-NBA team are drafted in the top five of the NBA Draft. Over the past two decades, 70% + of these types of players were selected with a top-five draft pick.
* This upcoming draft is considered by all experts to be one the strongest in decades, with multiple superstar prospects including Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle, among others. Given the Bucks slow start to the season, they are well positioned to obtain a top-five draft pick in the 2014 draft and likely acquire a game-changing talent.
* The Bucks have a large number of veteran players who might be of interest to teams in playoff contention. Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, Caron Butler, Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour are not going to be part of the Buck’s long-term future. But, they could help the Bucks have a long-term future if they are used creatively in trades over the next 90 days.
* Trading these veterans does not mean the Bucks would “give up” or “tank”. It means that the Bucks would create more playing time for young players like John Henson, Larry Sanders, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Knight, Nate Wolters and Kris Middleton. The side benefit of this strategy would likely be a higher draft pick.
* The Bucks current roster makeup, combined with a historically strong upcoming 2014 draft will allow the team an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild quickly, but only if they take the right steps. The Bucks fan base will quickly return in large numbers if things change, the same way the Packers and Brewers were able to turn things around.