Jrue Holiday runs point

Bucks finally give Giannis a reason to sign the supermax

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The Milwaukee Bucks needed to make big moves this offseason. They did just that on Monday night, trading for Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans and completing a sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time defending MVP, can sign a supermax extension this offseason. He has until the eve of the new season to do so – these moves surely increase Milwaukee’s chances of keeping him long-term.

Milwaukee is giving up Eric Bledsoe and George Hill to get Holiday. The real haul, though, is the three first-round selections and two pick swaps. David Griffin has run rings around the Bucks again, taking advantage of their desperation.

Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson will be heading to Sacramento in the Bogdanovic deal. Justin James will be joining the sweet-shooting wing in Wisconsin. Bogdanovic had been one of the premier free agents on the market, and was reportedly courted by other clubs including the Atlanta Hawks, but the opportunity to contend in Milwaukee was too good to turn down.

The Bucks have a starting five of Holiday, Bogdanovic, Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. There’s no doubt they’ve made major strides with these deals, albeit at the cost of future flexibility and a lot of draft picks. Holiday, it’s important to note, could be a free agent after next season. This is as all-in as anyone could have expected from Milwaukee.


Having been keen to move on from Bledsoe, the picks included alongside him prove how low his trade value was. They get a massive upgrade at point guard in Holiday. Bogdanovic gives them more shooting alongside Antetokounmpo and another good defender – he’s a useful play maker when he needs to be, too, something the Bucks massively lacked in the playoffs.

League-wide impact

The Bucks reassert their status as the Eastern Conference’s favourites. Antetokounmpo got the extra help he needed, while the long-term future of the franchise is dodgy, there’s no question they become better in 2021. Holiday is a near-All-Star talent. Bogdanovic came on leaps and bounds last season.

These are two moves that have seismic implications around the league. Giannis will surely sign the supermax – how does that impact the planning of the Heat, Raptors and Mavericks? Buddy Hield is much more likely to stay with the Kings. Victor Oladipo becomes a much more appealing trade option now Holiday is off the market.

This was a massive night for the Bucks. It will be looked back on as a turning point for the franchise – time will tell whether that will be a positive or negative reflection.

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