Full Trade Details:
Bucks Receive: Niko Mirotic
Pelicans Receive: 4 Second Round Picks, Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith,
With the 76ers trading for Tobias Harris, Milwaukee needed to make a move to keep up. They acquired Niko Mirotic, a stretch four who’s averaging 16.7 PPG and 8.3 RPG. Mirotic is a solid scorer, and can shoot from downtown as well (36.8 3PT% this season). I expect Mirotic to come off the bench for the Bucks, providing nice depth to that lineup.
The Bucks gave up 4 second round picks for Mirotic, which seems steep, but Mirotic is well worth it, and puts Milwaukee right next to the 76ers in terms of favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
With Anthony Davis on the trade block, and the Pelicans not competing for anything the rest of this season, GM Dell Demps made the right move here to acquire as many assets as they can for Niko Mirotic. Four second round picks is a great haul for Mirotic, and gives the Pelicans plenty of assets to make future trades. Two of those second round picks are originally from the Wizards, meaning they can end up falling in the 30’s somewhere. I thought the Pelicans would get a first round pick for Mirotic, and that’s my only issue with the trade for the Pelicans.
In terms of Stanley Johnson, he’s still only 22 and while he’s struggled, you never know if a change in scenery can help him out to become a solid role player. It’s the smallest part of this trade, and doesn’t affect my grade for the Pelicans, but it’s worth noting. This is the rare great trade for both teams.