The Milwaukee Bucks have been extremely active this week, as they have made clear their intentions on giving Giannis Antetokounmpo supporting stars worthy of him re-signing for the supermax later this month.
The Bucks dealt away three future first-round draft picks, including No. 24 overall this year, for the Pelicans’ star combo guard Jrue Holiday (along with Eric Bledsoe and George Hill). They then dealt much of their remaining supporting cast to Sacramento in a sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic, to give them added scoring punch on the wing. The result is a roster that is now extremely top heavy, with a starting five that looks tremendous on paper with Holiday, Bogdanovic, Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez, but features hardly any depth, with only Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Justin James (who was acquired in the Bogdanovic deal).
On top of that, those five starters take up almost all of their cap space, and they are just over $15 million away from the $139 million hard cap with up to eight roster spots to fill. As such, they need a number minimum contracts to fill out the roster, but entered Wednesday with no draft picks — who offer the cheapest contracts in the league. Unsurprisingly, they went to work to remedy that, dealing a pair of future second rounders to Orlando for No. 45 overall, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic and Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Breaking, per an NBA source: The Magic have agreed to trade their second-round pick (45th overall) in tonight’s draft to the Milwaukee Bucks for two future second-round picks.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) November 18, 2020
The Bucks now hold tonight’s No. 45 pick after trading two future second-rounders to Orlando
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 18, 2020
The move makes sense and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bucks potentially try to buy another second round pick off of a team later on this evening, as they could use some rookie minimum deals to round out their roster as they’ll surely look to bring in four or so veterans to play the majority of their rotation minutes. Milwaukee’s front office is going to have to be creative with the hard cap looming, but as long as Giannis signs on the dotted line sometime in the near future, it’ll all be worth it.