The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired forward Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team deal. The Bucks will also send forward Thon Maker to the Detroit Pistons and center Jason Smith, along with four future second-round draft picks to the Pelicans. Detroit will send forward Stanley Johnson to New Orleans to complete the trade.
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Malika Andrews: More Giannis on Thon Maker: “Obviously, he requested the trade, but I think Thon is young and what his people did — it was just to make the team play him a little bit more. But the team decided to move on and make this move. It is tough. But it is the business we work in.”
Gery Woelfel: As expected, Bucks trade Thon Maker to Detroit for Stanley Johnson. Said Mike George, Maker’s agent: “Thon’s definitely happy. He’s looking for a fresh start.” Detroit was one of five teams interested in acquiring Maker.
Malika Andrews: A note: Thon Maker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are close friends. Their lockers are next to each other. After Maker’s 5th straight DNP, Giannis said: “Thon is a great guy, great teammate. He wants to help the team and whenever I come out, sub out, he always talks to me.“
Rod Beard: A league source confirms that the #Pistons are planning to send Stanley Johnson to the #Bucks for Thon Maker, a one-for-one trade with no picks involved.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pistons are finalizing a trade to send Stanley Johnson to Milwaukee for Thon Maker, league source tells ESPN
Adrian Wojnarowski: Maker remains in play in several trade scenarios, league sources say. Bucks are talking to several teams on possible deals.
How far in advance did you know that story was going to come out? Did you know it was going to come out? Thon Maker: “No, no. I’ve been focused on the game, like every single game all year just like I always do. I’m a winner. I focus on the games and that’s all that matters to me. I’ve never just said things recklessly without thinking about it or talking to people about it. I always go back to my people and talk to them about it. I just focus on the game; that’s all I’ve done so far.”
How frustrating has it been this year to not get as much playing time as maybe you thought you were going to get and seeing a vet like Brook Lopez come in and scoop up minutes, even as well as he’s playing? Has this year gone a bit differently than you expected? Thon Maker: “I’m a competitive guy, very. I don’t like saying that about myself but people in the locker room say that about me. But I’m a competitive person and the GM, the coaches, those guys, they wouldn’t like it if I was happy not to be playing. They’ve wouldn’t like that. For me, as a competitor, I’ve got to stay locked in. I’ve always been a winner since the first time I started playing basketball. In high school, you can check my record, I played to win no matter what. There were media, articles and stuff talking about me I’m a YouTube guy, this and that. I’ve always focused on playing the game the right way and the real basketball fans when they saw that they actually loved that more than the highlights I produced. The highlights just happen within the game. I’m trying to win the game. I’ve always been that same person.”
Eric Nehm: After the game, @Matt_Velazquez and I chatted with Giannis about the Thon Maker report. He said they have talked since and that the biggest thing is just Thon’s competitiveness. Since GA and the rest of the team understands he just wants to play more, it won’t be a problem.
In the end, do you feel like getting traded would be best for you? Do you think that would be best? Thon Maker: Like I said, I really love the city. It’s where I live. The fans have supported me. The Bucks took a historic pick in the lottery with a guy coming straight out of high school. For me, I really appreciated that. And the fans, everything like that. I’ve been down to earth with this organization because they picked me straight out of high school, a historic pick. For me, I just go out there and play as hard as I can every time I’m out there to repay that. This is where I live. This is where I live.
Do you feel like the message of wanting to play more was already clear to the front office before the story came out? Thon Maker: Yeah. I’ve always had conversations with Coach. He would let me know these guys are playing really well. When we had John (Henson), he was playing really well early in the season. Ersan (Ilyasova), before he got hurt. And we just have our regular day-to-day conversations as well.
You obviously talk with the front office – you talk to general manager Jon Horst, you talk to assistant general manager Milt Newton. In general, what are those conversations like? Thon Maker: We’re always laughing, joking around, talking just as usual like every single day. At practice, when they’re there, they come and check up on every player, see how everybody’s doing and catch up as usual.
The representative for Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker has told management that he’d prefer the franchise find a trade to a team that would provide a larger role for the former lottery pick, league sources told ESPN.
As Maker’s playing time has diminished under new coach Mike Budenholzer in the Bucks’ surge to the NBA’s best record, agent Mike George and Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst have discussed trade scenarios in recent weeks that would potentially make sense for both the player and team, league sources said.
League sources said Thon Maker, who makes $2.8 million this season, D.J. Wilson, who makes $2.5 million, or Christian Wood, who makes $1.5 million. would be potential candidates in a Korver-Dellavedova deal. Like Dellavedova, Maker, Wilson and Wood are buried on the Bucks’ depth chart. The Bucks aren’t the only team interested in Korver’s services. Sources said Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers are also among the Korver suitors.
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May 8, 2021 | 6:38 pm EDT Update
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