Bucks, Heat make crucial trades ahead of NBA deadline

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
PJ Tucker has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Miami Heat have acquired Trevor Ariza. Pictures: Getty Images
PJ Tucker has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Miami Heat have acquired Trevor Ariza. Pictures: Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat have made moves ahead of the upcoming NBA trade deadline, with both teams acquiring veteran forwards to aid a potential playoff push.

The Bucks traded back-up point guard D.J. Augustin and forward D.J. Wilson for Houston's P.J. Tucker and Rodions Kurucs, as well as a pick swap which returns Milwaukee's 2022 1st round pick to the Bucks in exchange for a 2023 1st.

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Milwaukee then sent forward Torrey Craig to the Phoenix Suns, per Wojnarowski. The deals, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks, will end up saving the Bucks roughly $3 million in cap space.

Tucker has averaged 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season with the Rockets, his fourth with the team. 

The 35-year-old, who has been in the league since 2006, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. 

Kurucs has appeared in just 11 games for Houston this season, his third in the league. He was sent to the Rockets in the blockbuster deal that moved James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in January.

Augustin has averaged 6.1 points in more than 19 minutes per game this season in Milwaukee, mostly off the bench. The 33-year-old, who went No. 9 overall in the 2008 draft to the Charlotte Hornets, signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Bucks before the season. Wilson has appeared in just 12 games this season, his fourth in the league.

Craig signed a deal with the Bucks before the season started after his initial three-year stint in the league with the Denver Nuggets. He appeared in just 18 games in Milwaukee, and averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest.

Heat acquire Trevor Ariza in Meyers Leonard trade

Earlier, the Miami Heat traded center Meyers Leonard and a second round pick for Oklahoma City veteran Trevor Ariza.

Leonard has been away from the team after being fined for making an anti-semitic slur during a gaming livestream earlier in March, with the 29-year-old to waive a no-trade clause in his contract to allow the deal to go through.

While the Thunder technically acquired Leonard, he won't play for the team.

In a statement, the Thunder said Leonard "will not be reporting to Oklahoma City and will not be an active member of the organisation."

Meyers Leonard has been traded to Oklahoma City, however the Thunder has stated his services will not be required. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Meyers Leonard has been traded to Oklahoma City, however the Thunder has stated his services will not be required. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Ariza, 35, hasn't played a game for the Thunder this season as OKC begins a full rebuild of their roster, accepting a 20207 second-round pick for the veteran forward who played for Portland and Sacramento last season.

In 21 games with the Blazers, he averaged 11.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 33.4 minutes per game, however he didn't play in the NBA's playoff bubble when the postponed season resumed last year.

Tucker and Ariza are former Houston Rockets teammates.

Leonard's NBA career likely hangs in the balance, with his contract up at the end of the season.

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