Milwaukee Trades Tony Snell, First Round Pick to Detroit

In an effort to save a bit of money, the Bucks have traded Tony Snell and the 30th pick in this year’s NBA Draft to the Detroit Pistons for Jon Leuer.  Normally I would dive deep into this trade and compare film, stats, and more to see who “won” the trade and probably complain because the Bucks didn’t get a star player or some other nonsense.  This time, the trade is relatively stress-free and a common sense move made by newly extended GM Jon Horst.

Now if you only follow the Bucks, you are likely googling Jon Leuer to see if this guy is a new starter level player or something.  All you need to know is Leuer is being used to eat up a roster spot for next year to save a couple dollars.  This year, Tony Snell was going to make ~$11.3M.  Leuer is going to make ~$9.5M so all in all the Bucks are saving around $2M this season.  That might not sound like much, and that’s because it isn’t.  The best part of this trade doesn’t come until the 2020-2021 season.

The Bucks were blinded by Snell’s overachieving his first season in the Cream City, and was rewarded with a nice 4 year $46M contract for a player that honestly will be out of the league after his contract expires.  Snell has a player option for the aforementioned 2020-2021 that is worth $12.1M.  He’ll opt into that option because he would have to be an idiot not to.  That’s more than he’s worth and if he becomes a free agent no one is signing him to anything close to that.  Leuer will not be under contract, so by moving Snell the Bucks will save in excess of $12M.  With the Giannis supermax contract looming, every dollar will count.

The Bucks did part with the 30th pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.  If you’re upset with this you don’t need to be.  The draft is top heavy and this pick is basically a glorified 2nd rounder anyway.  There is no major drop off in talent between picks 30 and 31 so it doesn’t matter.  All the players you want are gone within the top 15 anyway.  This is just more incentive for Detroit to take on 2 years of a bad contract.

Overall no one wins or loses this trade.  It makes sense and saves Milwaukee money in the upcoming 2 years.  They are not losing a key guy and they can just dress Leuer in warm ups and use him as a human victory cigar for this season.  Maybe he’ll play, maybe not.  All that really matters here is the Bucks financial situation will be a bit less complicated in the future.


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