Milwaukee Bucks: Updated look at draft capital after Monday’s trades

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

After an eventful Monday night, the Milwaukee Bucks’ stash of draft capital over the next several years looks far different.

The Milwaukee Bucks made a pair of sizeable moves on Monday as they have reportedly brought in Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic to bolster the team’s title chances.

While general manager Jon Horst navigated his way through a sign-and-trade with Bogdanovic without giving up any draft capital, the same cannot be said for the haul they packaged to land Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.

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In addition to Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, the Bucks packaged three first-round draft picks, including No. 24 in Wednesday’s draft, along with two future pick swaps.

It was a steep price to give up for the guard, potentially jeopardizing their future in the process, but it was the right move as the team goes all-in for a title and around Giannis Antetokounmpo.

As the dust settled, the specifics of the trade came in, reporting that Milwaukee shipped off the New Orleans their first-round pick in 2020, an unprotected first in 2025, and an unprotected first in 2027. As for the pick swaps, the Pelicans have the right to engage in such a move in the first round of both the 2024 and 2026 drafts if they so desire.

On Milwaukee’s end, the team is stripped of assets for the foreseeable future, barring several “if” scenarios.

That’s being updated in light of the Holiday trade. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted Tuesday morning, the Cleveland Cavaliers are lifting the protections on the Bucks’ 2022 first rounder sent to them via the George Hill trade and are receiving an additional second rounder in the process.

For the Bucks’ 2023 first rounder, also in Cleveland’s possession, if the pick lands between 1-10 or from 25-30, it transfers back to Milwaukee’s hands. Should it fall between 11 and 24, the Cavaliers will have another asset at their disposal. If not settled by 2024, the Cavaliers will have the pick, should it fall between 9-30 in the draft order.

As for second-round picks, that is another complex story. The Bucks did gain the No. 42 and No. 60 overall picks in Wednesday’s draft courtesy of the New Orleans Pelicans, so they will have two chances to get on the board this year in the latter round.

How should Bucks fans feel after witnessing such a monumental supply of draft capital get shipped away?

Well, the reaction is currently mixed, and justifiably so from a fanbase that’s been bracing with uncertainty. The Bucks undoubtedly have a better roster to compete for a title next season with these two new acquisitions, but it puts their future on pause with Antetokounmpo’s future looming large.

However, that could be the price to pay to secure a long-term commitment from the two-time MVP. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted in a recent episode of the Lowe Post podcast that the Bucks remain confident in their ability to get a signature from Giannis on a supermax extension this offseason:

"“He has about a month to decide on his supermax. I think he’s going to decide a lot sooner. And I think there’s a lot of warmth in Milwaukee right now. I’ll just leave it at that.”"

Windhorst’s comments came before the Bucks made the pair of blockbuster moves Monday night. With a brand new star-studded backcourt playing alongside him, perhaps that could make a decision easier for Giannis long-term. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said amidst the chaos last night:

"“Bucks GM Jon Horst has reshaped his roster late Monday night, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Giannis wanted to see some significant upgrades and it appears the franchise has delivered for him. Huge night for that franchise.”"

So, yes, the tremendous amount of draft compensation that the Bucks gave up is very concerning, especially if they fall short of their ultimate goal. Still, if it puts them in the best position to succeed and contend for a title for several years to come, giving up those picks becomes far easier to comprehend.

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The Bucks will not play a heavy part in Wednesday’s draft, but all eyes on their new-look roster heading into next season.