What the Bucks traded away
The Bucks traded away all of the tantalizing skills, the relentless energy, and the sheer joy that Thon Maker has demonstrated when he’s taken to the floor for Milwaukee over the past two-and-a-half years.
They also traded away all of the dropped passes, misjudged defensive gambles, and ill-disciplined fouling that generally went hand-in-hand, counteracting any positive Maker plays.
Maker’s a complicated player, just as he was an immensely complicated prospect when the Bucks selected him and shocked the wider NBA with the 10th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
Considering how long it will be before the Bucks will have another pick of that caliber, and how well they’ve done with various other decisions in recent years, Milwaukee’s failure to land long-term pieces with Maker’s 10th pick and the second overall selection used on Jabari Parker will remain a source of frustration for many.
With this move, that is all officially consigned to the past, though. The same can be said for Maker’s playoff heroics. With the best record in the NBA approaching the All-Star break, the Bucks are out of the business of gallant playoff losses that were made more exciting by inconsistent role players.
In short, D.J. Wilson‘s consistency since cracking the rotation spelled the end for Maker on a Bucks team rapidly in need of disciplined and reliable contributors, as opposed to high-ceiling prospects capable of boom or bust performances.
Maker’s departure isn’t a cause for celebration, but it’s a pragmatic decision that shouldn’t cause any loss of sleep considering the Australian, himself, was the driver for change.
The fully realized version of Maker could still be a very valuable player, but two-and-a-half seasons into his stay with the Bucks, there was yet to be any evidence of that player ever actually emerging.