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Pelicans trade Nikola Mirotic to Bucks in 3-team deal involving Pistons

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Aussie NBA big man Thon Maker headed to Detroit Pistons after Milwaukee Bucks trade

7 they've traded Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson to the New Orleans Pelicans for forward Nikola Mirotic. Maker is averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds this season with the Bucks in roughly 11 minutes per game. In 276 games with the Pistons, he averaged 7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

To complete the trade, the Bucks will send power forward/center Thon Maker to the Pistons. Now, they'll both have a change of scenery.

The Bucks lose depth in their frontcourt and will probably try to find a way to replace Maker.

This season, Johnson had been playing with the second unit.

Johnson, 22, was Detroit's first-round draft pick (eighth overall) in 2015. Head coach Mike Budenholzer hadn't played him in a game since, making it clear he was unhappy with his young player. He started 34 games as a rookie in 2016-17 but has mostly come off the bench since then. The team has placed an emphasis on three-point shooting this year with the addition of new head coach Mike Budenholzer, and Mirotic should certainly provide some reinforcements in that regard - he's taking 7.2 per game and knocking down almost 37 percent of them.

With the Pistons (24-29) at ninth place in the East, they'll be battling for a playoff seed.

He now joins a Milwaukee squad that has the best record in the National Basketball Association. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract worth $12.5 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Maker has shown flashes of his enormous skill this season with the limited opportunities given to him, but he needs regular court time if he is to fulfil his potential.

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