The Milwaukee Bucks have put it all on the line on Tuesday as the 2020/21 NBA season draws closer to getting underway.
After being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, the Bucks are looking to make a push for the NBA Finals and bring in superstar talent to try and keep reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo around.
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Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign a super-max contract with the Bucks, but after years of failing to make the NBA Finals, there were fears he could be set to depart.
Now the front office has come to the party and loaded up the roster to keep their superstar happy and give the Bucks their best shot at securing an NBA title.
The first deal of the day came in the way of star guard Jrue Holiday who the Bucks secured from the New Orleans Pelicans.
It didn’t come cheap with the Bucks giving up Eric Bledsoe, George Hill along with three first-round draft picks and two pick swaps.
Holiday has long been one of the league’s most underrated stars and will fit perfectly alongside Antetokounmpo and fellow All-Star Khris Middleton.
But the Bucks weren’t finished there with rumours swirling shortly afterwards they were chasing Sacramento forward Bogdan Bogdanovic.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news the Bucks had landed the young star in a deal that sees them send the Kings Donte Divincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and DJ Wilson.
“Bucks GM Jon Horst has reshaped his roster late Monday night, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Giannis wanted to see some significant upgrades and it appears the franchise has delivered for him. Huge night for that franchise. Kings get Divincenzo, a real asset,” Wojnarowski wrote.
The moves launch the Bucks straight to the top of the NBA contenders list. Of course the moves amplify the pressure on the squad to make it out of the Eastern Conference and to the NBA Finals.
After a bizarre season impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the opening to the NBA’s trade period delivered in a big way.
“Whatever Bucks ownership promised Giannis in their postseason meeting … I think they exceeded it. Swinging trades for a two-way force like Jrue Holiday and a marksman of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s caliber before we even get to the draft is league-shaking work from Jon Horst and Co,” NY Times reporter Marc Stein wrote.
Stein added: “No NBA trades for nine months … the first 13 hours of legal (and then some) trading did not disappoint”.