7 players the Milwaukee Bucks gave up on far too soon

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 2 (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 2 (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Gary Payton II, New Orleans Pelicans: Rajon Rondo
NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 13 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

No. 3 – Gary Payton II

Over a decade after his father, Gary Payton, played for the franchise, Gary Payton II started his NBA career as a member of the Bucks in 2017. The guard showed glimpses of some potential during his brief time in Milwaukee, primarily on the defensive end, but he was waived in December of that year in favor of Sean Kilpatrick.

Payton bounced around the league and dealt with injuries over the next few years but came into his own when he joined the Golden State Warriors. In 2021-22, he carved out a role for himself as a scrappy guard who made the hustle plays and pestered opposing scorers. His efforts helped the Warriors take home the NBA Championship that season, having served as a key cog off the bench.

Payton’s injury history clouds this from being a bonafide strikeout for the Bucks, as he’s played in 30 games in a season just once in his six-year career. However, it would have been interesting to see how the guard may have developed alongside the ascending Bucks post-2017. He may not have turned into a star, but he certainly could have been a great role player.