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Report: Bucks trade Tony Snell, 30th pick to Pistons for Jon Leuer

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Cap constraints force Horst’s hand

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

There was already an inkling that the Bucks were in the market to move off the contracts for Tony Snell or Ersan Ilyasova, and it was inevitable that some draft compensation would have to be involved to get it done.

Snell proved the first to go yesterday evening with the Milwaukee Bucks agreeing to trade him and their first-round pick in tonight’s draft (at 30th overall) to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Jon Leuer:

The top concern for Jon Horst after Milwaukee’s 60-win campaign was always going to be finding a way to retain the core that got the Bucks there. With Eric Bledsoe now on an extension and Khris Middleton officially looking for a new deal the arithmetic involved in also retaining some variation of Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, George Hill, or Nikola Mirotic would be complex. Now, with the possibility of waiving and stretching the $9.5 million owed Leuer this season the Bucks may have bought themselves some more flexibility.

But at what cost?

The biggest loss will be whatever potential player would have been available for Milwaukee at #30, regardless of the sometimes random nature of the draft. That player would have been a cost-controlled piece on a roster that is set to get very expensive, very fast (not to mention the unknown on-court contributions in coming years).

In addition, while Snell saw his minutes drop from 27.4 per game in 2017-2018 to just 17.4 mpg last season, he remained a somewhat plausible bench depth piece with his third straight season of near 40% shooting from three. His contract has always been something of an albatross given the length and per year price (four-years, $44 million), but that was infamously a deal Milwaukee felt comfortable giving him the second free agency opened.

There’s always a chance Milwaukee chooses to keep Leuer around, but given his recent history of injury woes and how desperate the Bucks will be for any and all available dollars in FA it seems unlikely he’ll make it far in the off-season. For tonight’s draft there’s also the chance Horst can find his way into the second-round if a player really catches his eye, but as of this morning the Milwaukee Bucks will be watching from the sidelines.

What do you make of the trade? Like it? Love it? Dislike it? Hate it? Wait and see?