Milwaukee Bucks agree to trade Thon Maker to Detroit Pistons


In a deal that involves the Pistons - with whom he orchestrated the Thon Maker trade on Wednesday - the Bucks have acquired forward Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans for Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith and four, second-round draft picks. The Milwaukee Bucks made a decision to go all-in this season and make a play for Mirotic, who is averaging a career-high 16.7 points per game in the Big Easy this season.

Johnson, 22, is averaging 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in his fourth National Basketball Association season with Detroit.

To complete the trade, the Bucks will send power forward/center Thon Maker to the Pistons.

The deal involving two former lottery picks is a chance for both young players to accelerate their careers in fresh environments.

The Bucks lose depth in their frontcourt and will probably try to find a way to replace Maker.

The Pistons took Johnson with the No. 8 pick in the 2015 draft. They have also both been something between letdowns and a busts, depending on which Pistons or Bucks fans you ask. He's averaging 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game overall this season.

Johnson gives the Bucks, who have the NBA's best record at 39-13, another strong wing defender as they prepare for a playoff push.

However, after showing promise last season, Maker had fallen out of head coach Mike Budenholzer's rotation and recently requested a trade. Even though Maker was on the bench, he was one injury away from playing 20-25 minutes a night. He is in the final year of a contract that pays him $5.4 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.