Bucks Trade Dellavedova, Henson for George Hill and Jason Smith


The Milwaukee Bucks have completed a three-team trade in which they dealt guard Matthew Dellavedova and center John Henson. In return, the Bucks will get guard George Hill from Cleveland along with center Jason Smith and a future second-round pick.

NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN noted that there was a need to get the deal done today, as it has some ramifications regarding the eligibility of players in this trade being dealt again this season:

Initially, reports had Wisconsin native and former Badger Sam Dekker coming to Milwaukee in the deal, but instead, Dekker heads to Washington in exchange for Smith and the pick. Both Dellavedova and Henson will be members of the Cavaliers.

There are some protections on the Bucks’ draft picks, as ESPN’s Zach Lowe notes:

The move accomplishes a few things First, it gets rid of future payroll. Dellavedova makes $9.6 million this season and is on the books for the same amount next season too. Henson is getting $9.57 million this season and $8.73 million next.

Those cap numbers for next season were standing in the way of the flexibility required for the Bucks to re-sign Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and/or Malcolm Brogdon – all of whom are free agents this offseason (although Brogdon is restricted).

Secondly, it upgrades the backup guard position. Enter: George Hill, who has big-game experience from his time with the Cavaliers, among the other teams he’s played for along the way.

Hill is a plus defender. And he can play either backcourt spot. Between Hill and Brogdon, Milwaukee now has two combo guards that can be mix-and-match going forward. Brogdon’s attacking style could be utilized a bit more by playing him more with the second unit, where he would take responsibilities of being the primary ball-handler while the starters rest.

Third, Hill’s presence serves both the short- and long-term. The 32-year-old veteran is scheduled to make $19 million this season and $18 million next. But – and this is a big “but” – his contract includes a $1 million dollar buyout should he be waived after this season, which he almost assuredly will be. Thus, his contract is essentially an expiring deal.

In Jason Smith, the Bucks get a backup big that could fill in behind Brook Lopez and Thon Maker. However, Milwaukee recoups a pick in that deal to offset one of the ones they sent to the Cavaliers. Smith is on the books for $5.45 million for the current season and will become a free agent at its conclusion.

The downside of sports – and times like this – is that you have to feel bad for Dellavedova and Henson. Two players who were easy to root for and model citizens for the Milwaukee community. But the business side ultimately rules. And it’s hard to view this move as anything other than a huge checkpoint for the Bucks in their effort to built a championship team around Giannis Antetokounmpo.


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