The Milwaukee Bucks made a trade on Wednesday night to gain some salary cap space entering free agency.
The Bucks traded Tony Snell and the No. 30 overall pick in Thursday’s draft to the Detroit Pistons for Jon Leuer, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The move is all about the money for Milwaukee.
Snell is making nearly $11.4 million next season, while Leuer is making $9.5 million. Not only does the trade present a savings of nearly $2 million, but the Bucks save an additional $2 million or so due to the cap hold for the No. 30 pick, freeing up a total of around $4 million.
Leuer’s deal expires after the season while Snell has a $12.1 player option for 2020-2021, so the Pistons are effectively paying that money to gain the first-round pick and some wing help in the form of Snell, as Zach Lowe pointed out.
The Bucks were ranked fifth in the league with a $131 million payroll last season and had $87 million in commitments for next season, according to Hoops Hype. A number of their key players from last season’s team that produced the best regular season record in the league are set to become free agents, such as Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic and Brook Lopez. They are said to be negotiating a big deal to try and bring back Middleton. They won’t be able to bring back everyone, but this additional space will help their efforts to re-sign players or bring in another free agent or two to replace them.