Milwaukee Bucks: Grades and reactions for the Tony Snell trade

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Overall trade grade

Snell is a useful player but as his role diminished with the Bucks, it became painfully obvious just how overpaid he actually was.

It wasn’t a deal that many teams were likely all that eager to take on, and you can count this writer as someone who believed it would prove to be too tall of a task. At this point, though, it might be time to stop doubting Horst’s ability to offload bad contracts without causing undue pain for the Bucks.

This time, it’s unfortunate that there isn’t a George Hill-type returning as a bonus, but if it was looking increasingly likely that the Bucks were going to have to bite the bullet this summer, doing so with Leuer is good business on Horst’s part.

Stretching Leuer would cost the Bucks just over $3 million per year until the summer of 2022, but that is essentially half of what the cost of a similar move would have been with Snell through to 2023. Of course, a move such as that was never on the cards with Snell due to that high tariff, but in acquiring Leuer, Horst has found a much more palatable cost.

This trade cannot be assessed in a vacuum. The Bucks didn’t just give up a first round pick and Tony Snell for some low percentage pursuit once free agency opens. Instead, this trade makes it incredibly plausible that Lopez, Hill, Middleton and Brogdon could all return from free agency with new multi-year deals with the Bucks.

In the grander scheme of things, this trade may prove to be crucial in ensuring the Bucks’ long-term path to contending. When you look at the way in which some of their rivals are currently crumbling, the significance of that shouldn’t be glibly glossed over.

Grade: A-

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton opts out, rumored to want a long-term stay with the Bucks. dark

Stick with us at Behind the Buck Pass for more analysis of the deal, a continued look ahead to free agency, and any further transactions that come out of draft day and beyond for the Bucks.