The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired forward Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team deal. The Bucks will also send forward Thon Maker to the Detroit Pistons and center Jason Smith, along with four future second-round draft picks to the Pelicans. Detroit will send forward Stanley Johnson to New Orleans to complete the trade.
“We are thrilled to add such a talented player in Nikola Mirotic to our roster,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “He is a skilled, two-way player who fits extremely well into our system. He shoots at a high percentage from beyond the arc, rebounds and defends at his position and provides depth to our frontcourt.
“We thank Thon and Jason for their contributions to the Bucks and wish them well.”
Mirotic, 27, is averaging career-highs in both points (16.7) and rebounds (8.3) per game in 2018-19 while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three in 32 games (22 starts). He’s tallied 10 games with at least 20 points, including two games with 30 or more points, and 11 double-doubles this season while knocking down multiple 3-pointers in 23 of his 32 games played.
Originally selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Mirotic, 6-foot-10, holds career averages of 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest, appearing in 305 career games with both the Pelicans and Chicago Bulls. The Montenegro native has averaged at least 10.0 points per game in each of his five seasons and earned All-Rookie honors following his rookie season in 2014-15.
Maker, who was selected by the Bucks with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, was averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 35 games with the Bucks this season. He appeared in 166 games (46 starts) with Milwaukee over three seasons and averaged 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per contest.
Smith was acquired by the Bucks from the Wizards in a three-team trade on Dec. 7, 2018. He appeared in six games with Milwaukee and averaged 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per contest. In his 10th season, Smith holds career averages of 6.1 points and 3.4 rebounds over 614 games.
Milwaukee’s roster now stands at 16 players.