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Bucks retains 2019 first round pick

Giannis Antetokounmpo

It’s good to be the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite their defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, the team officially retained their 2019 first-round draft choice. The team is still dealing with the Phoenix Suns over last season’s Eric Bledsoe trade, with another pick still yet to be on the move, with their 2020 pick next on the table, even as it remains top-7 protected. If Milwaukee’s 2019-20 year is anything like the 50-17 campaign they’re having in 2018-19, there won’t be much worry over any top-7 protections.

While the current Bucks squad wasn’t built entirely through the Draft, the tandem of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon, two recent draft choices, have helped spurred the the club to the league’s best mark through play Sunday. Add their first-round selections in each of the last two years — D.J. Wilson and Donte DiVincenzo, respectively — both of whom currently fill role players duties, and it’s obvious that retaining their Draft choices is vital to continuing the wave of talent in Milwaukee.

The Bledsoe trade also serves to highlight the benefits that came along with acquiring the guard who has started all 136 games he has appeared in since arriving last season. Whatever picks do land in Phoenix’s lap will be late first-round selections; valuable, but not nearly as valuable as home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, partially earned by Bledsoe’s play.

Additionally, the move was not merely a rental. Bledsoe recently inked a four-year extension worth $70 million to stay with the Bucks, who will continue to put off actually having to pay off their trade capital.