In the 2009 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks selected promising point guard Brandon Jennings who had not gone to college, but played in Italy the previous year. Midway through the season Bucks GM, John Hammond traded Hakim Warrick to Chicago, and acquired John Salmons. In a Bucks uniform, Salmons averaged a team leading 19.9 points per game. The play of Jennings, along with the improvement of Andrew Bogut, the surprisingly improvedErsan Ilyasova, and the John Salmons trade, catapulted the team to be a playoff contender. At the beginning of the season, the Bucks were viewed as a team that wouldn't be in the playoff race. They hadn't been in four years. In October, the Bucks quickly fell behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central division, but Milwaukee ultimately clinched a playoff berth on April 6, 2010 with a road win over the Chicago Bulls. It was during this time that the phrase "Fear The Deer" started, most likely by an ESPN commentator and adopted on message boards and within Andrew Bogut's Squad 6. The slogan rang well with Bucks fans, who started bringing signs with the phrase to games. The said slogan became the team's battle cry in the NBA Playoffs. The Bucks finished the season with a record of 46–36. The Bucks clinched the 6th seed and were eliminated in a hard-fought seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks. It was the farthest Milwaukee had gotten in the post-season since 2001. The Bucks short playoff run was also in part to Andrew Bogut suffering a broken arm after making an awkward fall after a dunk in a late-season game, thus ending his season. In the 2010–11 season, the Bucks finished ninth in the eastern conference, just out of reach of the playoffs.
With Andrew Bogut sidelined the rest of the season and Stephen Jackson and head coach Scott Skiles not seeing eye-to-eye, the Bucks decided to trade both players. On March 13, 2012, 48 hours before the trade deadline, the Bucks traded Bogut and Jackson to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown.
Before the 2012 NBA Draft, the Bucks sent a first round pick, Shaun Livingston, Jon Brockman, and Jon Leuer to the Rockets for a first round pick and Samuel Dalembert. In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Bucks selected Doron Lamb and John Henson.
Milwaukee Bucks Roster
|Brandon Jennings||3||Point guard|
|Monta Elis||11||Shooting guard|
|J. J. Redick||5||Shooting guard|
|Ersan ilyasova||7||Power guard|
|John Henson||31||Power forward|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||12||Small forwward|
|Drew Gooden||0||Power forward|
|Ekpe Udoh||13||Power forward|
|Mike Dunleavy, Jr.||17||Small forward|
|Ish Smith||15||Point guard|