Prior to the deadline for making decisions on training camp contracts, the Milwaukee Bucks waived Tim Frazier, and then traded for Jodie Meeks.
With Monday’s 5pm ET deadline acting as decision time for NBA teams when it comes to which players, if any, will graduate from training camp contracts to regular NBA roster spots, the Milwaukee Bucks had their own set of important decisions to make.
With Tyler Zeller and Shabazz Muhammad already waived in recent days, and Christian Wood reportedly set to win a spot on Milwaukee’s roster, the future of Tim Frazier acted as the most obvious unresolved thread for the Bucks to deal with prior to the deadline.
In spite of rumblings in recent days suggesting that D.J. Wilson may have been waived to create another roster spot, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! reported that the Bucks would be moving on from Tim Frazier, while also hinting that another transaction may not be too far behind in the form of a trade.
The news regarding Frazier was officially confirmed by the Bucks on Twitter soon after.
Following up on the thought process of Milwaukee’s decisions, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also confirmed the news regarding Frazier, as well as the nature of Christian Wood’s two-year, partially guaranteed deal with the Bucks.
While Wood was the clear standout among Milwaukee’s training camp invitees, Frazier had his own impressive moments throughout the course of the preseason.
The 27-year-old averaged over 13 minutes across the Bucks’ four preseason games, chipping in with 4.8 points and 4.5 assists per game on 46.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three-point range.
The highlight of that span was undoubtedly Frazier’s performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he made a number of key shots down the stretch including a clutch three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
Shortly after the announcement of Frazier’s departure, more concrete details emerged about the trade that had been previously reported by Chris Haynes.
Velazquez flagged the deal up as a way for the Bucks to receive a draft pick and cash considerations in exchange for taking on a player who they wouldn’t keep around anyway.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was then the first to report that the player involved in the deal would be Jodie Meeks.
Keith Smith of Real GM reports that the Bucks will send a highly protected pick (likely a top-55 protected selection, and maybe even the same top-55 protected pick the Wizards sent in exchange for Jared Dudley unless the protection is lifted on that pick from the Washington side of this same deal) to fulfil the value obligation on their side of the trade.
Meeks, of course, played for the Bucks back in the 2009-10 season when he played 41 games before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
With the trade exception created in the Greg Monroe deal last summer, the Bucks were able to take on Meeks’ deal without cap implications, while the cash considerations sent by the Wizards will likely cover the cost of waiving him, on top of reducing Washington’s luxury tax bill.
Meeks is currently serving a suspension for a violation of the NBA’s anti-drug program. As a result, as Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights noted, the Bucks could stand to save on the cost of waiving Meeks if they were to wait to do so until after the suspension has finished. Considering the desire to keep Wood and the absence of a vacant roster spot elsewhere, it’s much more likely that Meeks is waived immediately, though.
On the whole, the deal not only makes a lot of sense for the Bucks, but it acts as a real bonus considering they parted with a second round pick in the Zeller deal last season, only to waive him before his contract’s completion. This deal should allow the Bucks to replenish their draft stocks somewhat, while also coming at no real cost heading into the season or beyond.