The Milwaukee Bucks have made the first deal of draft night 2015, landing point guard Greivis Vasquez in exchange for the 46th overall pick in the 2015 draft and the Clippers' lottery-protected first in 2017. ESPN's Marc Stein was the first to report the deal:
ESPN sources say Milwaukee sends 2017 first-round pick via the Clippers and the 46th pick in tonight's second round to Toronto for Vasquez— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2015
You may recall that the Bucks were reportedly interested in the 28-year-old Vasquez before he re-signed with Toronto last summer for two years and $13 million, so there's some history here. A 6'6" pick-and-roll specialist who led the league in assists in 2013, Vasquez is coming off a season that saw him average 9.5 points and 3.7 assists in 82 games for the Raptors, starting 29 times and hitting 38% of his threes. He's not a great athlete or defender, but his size does give him flexibility to play both backcourt positions, which matters for a team like the Bucks.
Still, it's a bit of a head-scratcher for a team that already had point guards Michael Carter-Williams, Jerryd Bayless and Tyler Ennis under contract -- I won't even count Jorge Gutierrez's non-guaranteed deal -- and could lose Vasquez to free agency next summer. The move will also eat up $6.6 million of Milwaukee's roughly $22.6 million in cap space, leaving them with around $16 million heading into free agency on July 1:
Overall the deal would seem to represent less than good value for a third guard, though you can see why the Bucks would value Vasquez's combination of size, unselfishness and ability to hit open threes. He won't take away possessions from the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, and he could share the court with MCW if needed. That's important, though you can question whether a future first -- even a relatively distant, low value one -- was worth spending this way.
Along with the Bucks' selection of UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn at #17, the Bucks figure to leave draft night overloaded in the backcourt, with Jerryd Bayless and perhaps O.J. Mayo looking particularly expendable. You could have argued that was the case with Bayless yesterday, too, though now it's even more acute. As things currently stand, the easiest option might be finding a way to move Bayless while Vaughn rides the pine as Mayo's understudy -- rather ironic considering Vaughn seems to bear a fair bit of resemblance to Mayo.
Whether the Vasquez deal has implications for the Bucks' free agent plans is also unclear. As things currently stand, you'd guess that their current $16 million in cap space probably wouldn't be enough to sign Brook Lopez (his max is closer to $19 million), though you'd also imagine that's still more than enough to go after the likes of Tyson Chandler. Either way, more moves are likely to come in the next few weeks, so the Bucks' roster balance and cap space figures to be rather fluid heading into what figures to be a fascinating month of July.