In the sports industry, you do not have a typical Nine-Five job. That is certainly the case for NBA front offices in a unique offseason, especially for Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks.
With just a day before the NBA Draft, Horst pulled off two big moves in Milwaukee. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to trade guard Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and three future first-round picks, including this year’s No. 24 overall pick. The Pelicans will also receive two future draft pick swaps from the Bucks. This move is similar to the Anthony Davis trade last season.
Milwaukee Bucks’ New Acquisitions
According to an NBA source, Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo signed off on the trade, despite giving up several assets. Holiday is coming off a solid season, averaging 19.1 points and 6.1 assists per game. He signed a five-year, $126 million contract in 2017 to keep him with Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Adding Holiday to Milwaukee significantly improves their chances to contend, especially with Anteokounmpo’s eligibility for free agency next season. His playmaking ability and consistency on both sides of the ball make him a big asset to set the Pelicans up for a great return.
Bledsoe averaged 14.9 points per game on 47.5 percent shooting (34.4 percent from behind the arc) this season and has three years remaining on his contract. Hill averaged 9.4 points per game, but shot 46 percent behind the arc this season and has two years left on his deal. The Pelicans’ load of draft picks gives them more flexibility to build around Zion Williamson and restricted free agent Brandon Ingram.
However, the Bucks were not done yet.
After acquiring Holiday, the Bucks agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings to send Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin James to Milwaukee. The Kings receive Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, and D.J. Wilson in return. The Serbian wing player is another solid asset for the Bucks due to his three-point shooting and playmaking skills. He shot 37.2 percent from behind the arc and 40.7 percent on catch-and-shoot three-pointers. In basketball, the most efficient playmakers can not only excel with the ball but are also solid on the move. Bogdanovic performed well off screens and handoffs in Sacramento. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game this season.
The Kings’ silver lining is DiVincenzo will be entering his third season after coming off a decent sophomore campaign. In 66 games with the Bucks this season, he averaged 9.2 points, 2.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game. However, his passing abilities and aggressive offensive provide both parties with a solid future for him.
Milwaukee’s big moves indicate their main goal: convince Anteokounmpo to sign the super-max deal.
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