Shortly before making their first pick in the 2015 NBA draft, the Bucks made news in a rather… unexpected way, acquiring Grievis Vasquez from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a 2017 first-round pick and the 46th pick tonight.
ESPN sources say Milwaukee sends 2017 first-round pick via the Clippers and the 46th pick in tonight's second round to Toronto for Vasquez
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2015
The first-round pick from the Clippers is lottery-protected in 2017, 2018, and 2019, at which point it turns into a 2020 second-round pick plus the Clippers’ 2021 second-round pick.
While it’s fair to say that many expected movement in tonight’s draft, bringing in another point guard is a curious move. The 28-year-old Vasquez has averaged 9.2 points and 4.9 assists per game in his 5-year career, bouncing between the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans (then Hornets), Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors. He’s emerged in the last several years as a reliable perimeter threat, shooting 38% on just over 4 three-pointers per game in his previous two seasons. He’s also spent most of his career as a backup, a trend that will likely continue as he joins a Bucks point guard rotation that already features Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Jerryd Bayless, and Jorge Guitierrez‘s non-guaranteed contract. Vasquez has one year left on a 2 year, $13 million deal and is set to make $6.6 million this season.
I’m not going to lie, this move looks perplexing.
The protection on the Clippers pick combined with their recent success means that that pick would likely not be especially valuable, especially when combined with the non-negligible value of tonight’s second-round pick. Moving a future asset for a point guard–a position that the team was not especially lacking to begin with–is a curious move in the absence of any corresponding action. That said, it’s entirely possible that this is the first in a series of moves as the Bucks continue to retool the team around their young core players. Vasquez will also be an expiring contract this season, meaning that he could be leveraged in a future deal should the team continue to wheel and deal.