Zaza Pachulia traded for a future second-round pick

DeAndre Jordan‘s change of heart has officially affected the Milwaukee Bucks.

After missing out on the Los Angeles Clippers free agent, the Dallas Mavericks have traded for Milwaukee Bucks center Zaza Pachulia for a future second-round pick, according to multiple reports. But given the price the Mavericks paid, it’s likely the Bucks would have traded Pachulia to another team if the spot didn’t open up in Dallas.

According to Marc Stein, the Bucks had been shopping the veteran center around about a week after agreeing to trade Jared Dudley to the Washington Wizards in a similar deal.

Sources say the Bucks had been trying to move Pachulia since beating out the Knicks and other teams for highly coveted free agent Greg Monroe.

This trade further clarifies Milwaukee’s center rotation. Monroe will clearly be the starter. Unless there are any further trades, John Henson and Miles Plumlee will jostle for minutes behind him.

In dumping both Pachulia and Dudley for basically nothing, the Bucks have taken a rather drastic step in guaranteeing minutes for younger players. Monroe, Henson, Plumlee, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and potentially Damien Inglis are the players most likely to see increased playing time without the two veterans on the roster. Plumlee is the oldest in that group at 26-years-old and Monroe has the most NBA experience, heading into his sixth season.

Milwaukee must be confident that some of those players can take on a vocal leadership role. Along with O.J. Mayo, Pachulia and Dudley were seen as very strong leaders in Milwaukee’s locker room last season.

“I think I help them out defensively, putting them in the right places,” Dudley said of his younger teammates after Tuesday night’s win over the Knicks. “For me, those guys (Jabari, Giannis, young players in general), they gotta learn, so you gotta put them in the fire.”

In the fire they will go. But Milwaukee won’t only lose out on the leadership those two provided. They were actually pretty good! I wrote extensively about Pachulia when breaking down Monroe earlier this week, so I won’t rehash all of it here. Simply put, Pachulia was a very important cog in Milwaukee’s defense last season and seemed like an ideal mentor for Monroe. He also provided Milwaukee with terrific ball movement and some jump shooting from the center position.

Dudley’s season had its peaks and valleys, but his ability to transition to the power forward position at times and his 47% 3-point shooting in the month of December helped Milwaukee battle through a very difficult schedule and emerge on the other side around .500.

Pachulia is owed $5.25 million next season. Between trading him and Dudley, the Bucks have cleared $9.5 million in salary for next season, which allowed them to sign Monroe and re-sign Khris Middleton without exceeding the salary cap.

Since the Bucks re-signed Middleton already, they’ll take him into their cap space that was available/opened up rather than exceed the cap to sign him. Teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own players in certain circumstances. Since the Bucks have already signed Middleton, they can’t fit more players in under the salary cap and then re-sign him. They won’t be able to exceed the salary cap to sign new free agents. As Frank Madden tweeted earlier today, this indicates they are virtually done in free agency.

They still could sign veterans minimum type free agents.

No word on whether or not the Bucks will refer to these future second-round picks as “own the” future second-round picks when discussing them in the months to come.

Categories: ROTATIONS!,The Off Season

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7 Comments

  1. We are losing some of the depth that made us so good last season. I guess this will be Swisch’s shining moment though for his guy Henson. I hope they don’t move anyone else at this point, Zaza was a scrappy vet who despite his flaws I really appreciated. He will be missed.

  2. Not a fan of all these moves. We had a nice mix of vets and youth last year, and they all seemed to vibe. Was obviously okay with the Ersan move, a little less okay with the Dudley move, and not happy about the Zaza move. Definitely want Henson to get good minutes, but Zaza’s impact was greater than that.. he got these guys to buy in and stay awake. I get the financials(although not really) but is Milwaukee gonna have a reputation where no one is safe now? Don’t think he would have had much impact on Monroe as he is light years ahead of where Zaza was at the same age.. oh well we move on, nice super dry joke at the end there Jeremy

  3. I think they could have gotten another second rounder for him, but whatever.

    I’m now wondering if the Bucks will show any interest in adding a FA like Gigi Datome (might be a real possibility), Travis Wear (currently on the Knicks’ summer league team, but is an UFA), Quincy Acy (another real possibility though there are several teams who are reported as showing interest in him), Jeff Ayres (might be a possibility if the Spurs spur him), Darrell Arthur (probably has better opportunities elsewhere), KJ.McDaniels (I doubt they can win him over for a signing), and Ognjen Kuzmic (fairly unlikely given Golden State’s qualifying offer).

    The 3 most likely…

    Gigi Datome (27yo) – Was considered one of the best euro players not long ago before signing with Detroit in 2013. He’s a role player who can come off the bench to provide very solid 3-point shooting as a tweener-type forward, but someone who’s a bit of a liability defensively.

    Travis Wear (24yo) – A former McDonald’s and Parade’s All-American player before playing ball for UNC & UCLA. He reached the NBA as an undrafted player by receiving an offer by the Knicks after showing promise during Summer League last year. He has a fairly similar skillset to Datome, but is a bit less of a sharpshooter and more so a stretch-4 given his larger size.

    Quicy Acy (24yo) – A former Baylor tweener forward who was well known for his energy and defense. He was drafted by Toronto 37th overall in 2012; in 2013 he was traded to Sacramento as part of the deal to move Rudy Gay. In 2014 he was traded to the Knicks where he started to receive some regular play and showed some signs of being able to stretch the floor offensively (30% 3-point shooting) on top of bringing his normal energy and defense.

    Another possibility is to see if the Heat have interest in trading Josh McRoberts since they’re facing serious luxury tax issues.

    • Also, hearing rumors that the Suns really want to ship Markieff Morris out; maybe something could be worked out there if they’re desperate. They can have Bayless, Gutierrez, and maybe O’Bryant plus some 2nd round draft picks!

  4. Thank god for little favors. Watching Za Za Pachulia play 25 plus minutes per night for the past 2 years has not been good for my disposition. I know he is a bit of a fan favorite but bottom line is he is a career journeyman. Thanks god the Bucks are moving on from these types of mediocre players.

    Now… it’s up to Monroe, Middleton and Vasquez to be the new leaders of the Bucks. That’s the way it works. The guys with the big contracts have to pull the water while the younger guys grow up. At least they have talent to back up their big paydays.

    Winter just got brighter and shorter!

  5. glad to see bucks finally getting future assets back, if only 2nd rds, unlike tobias harris. have no problem repeating with vasquez, mayo, plumlee and bayless; but dudley, ilyasova, and pachulia good enough at this point. the faster bucks turn the team over to the young core, the faster they grow together. would like to see carter-williams replaced with a better PG.
    2016 and beyond
    PG Ennis draft
    Middleton Vaughn draft
    Antetokounmpo Inglis draft
    Parker O’Bryant draft
    Monroe Henson draft