Overall trade grade
When I was tasked with grading a Bucks’ trade 24 hours ago, my overwhelming feeling was apathy. Moving Thon Maker for Stanley Johnson was fine. Adding a little bit more cap space for the summer was better than that.
Still, with the benefit of knowing what we all know now, the Bucks have had an exceptional trade deadline. More specifically, Horst and the Bucks’ front office have excelled with their trades throughout this season, essentially both upgrading this year’s roster and improving their flexibility for one of the franchise’s most important free agency periods at every single step.
The deal isn’t completely without risk. Mirotic has suffered with injuries on-and-off this season, and the Wizards’ picks really may end up resembling something much closer to two first round picks. Still, the Bucks have reached a juncture where they can no longer rest as the risk-averse franchise that has been mired in mediocrity since the end of the 1980s.
Milwaukee has spent so much time watching other teams using small trades along the margins to ultimately pay off in a larger win down the road, that there should be great satisfaction in the origins of the picks attached in this deal.
Likewise, the record tells us that the Bucks are currently the best team in the NBA. That is an opportunity that must be seized. It’s the time to take a risk, as the point of all of this is supposed to be winning a championship. After decades of misery, the Bucks couldn’t afford to be coy now and in the next few seasons, only to later reflect that they didn’t do all they could have done.
Mirotic isn’t a guarantee of anything in terms of results, but most importantly of all, he’s evidence that the Bucks understand their position and are now playing to win.
What are your thoughts on the deal? Let us know in the comments below.