Jon Horst said this morning that he planned to find the best fit for the Milwaukee Bucks with the 30th pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. That fit turned out to be trading the 30th pick along with Tony Snell to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Jon Leuer.
Moving the pick doesn’t come as a total shock, nor does the fact that Snell was included in the trade. There had been multiple reports that the Bucks wanted to get the $24 million on Snell’s contract off the books so they have more flexibility in free agency. By taking Jon Leuer and his $9.5 million contract this year, the Bucks save about $4 million in cap space.
It’s possible that the Bucks could move Leuer next as Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out.
The attempt of freeing up room seems geared towards giving the Bucks the best chance to retain Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon. Middleton and Lopez are unrestricted free agents, while Brogdon is an unrestricted free agent.
If Leuer does actually end up coming to the Bucks, he’ll be returning to the state where he played his college ball for the Badgers. The 6-foot-10 forward played a huge role for Wisconsin prior to the Bucks selecting him in the second round of the 2011 draft. He’s moved around in his career with stops in Cleveland, Phoenix, Memphis and Detroit.
The trade itself can’t be finalized until after the draft due to a rule that forbids teams from trading their first-round picks in back-to-back years. Milwaukee sent its 2020 first round pick to Phoenix in the trade for Eric Bledsoe last year.