Milwaukee Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic in three-team deal

Rex Christensen
February 8, 2019

After asking for a trade to seek more playing time, Thon Maker may have found a new home.

Australian big man Thon Maker appears headed to the Detroit Pistons and Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers are set to add elite Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris to bolster their chances of claiming the National Basketball Association title.

7 they've traded Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson to the New Orleans Pelicans for forward Nikola Mirotic. He played in six games for the Bucks this year, totaling 13 points.

Thon Maker #7 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida.

Both Harris and star Sixers guard Jimmy Butler, acquired from Minnesota earlier this season, are free agents this off-season while Simmons is in line for a contract extension in the near future.

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Even when the team is mired in a decade-long stretch of mediocrity - the Pistons have made the playoffs just twice since 2009 and would be in the lottery again if the playoffs started today - hope for the possibility of better things can keep paying fans from giving up entirely.

Johnson is in his fourth NBA season after being drafted eighth overall by the Pistons in the 2015 NBA Draft. He has consistently brought positive value defensively, but he's hitting below 30 percent from beyond the arc for his career (29.2 percent) and sits below 29 percent for the second straight season right now (28.2 percent).

This season, Mirotic is averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists for New Orleans.

Maker wants more court time after watching his minutes dwindle at the Bucks since with the arrival of head coach Mike Budenholzer.

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