The NBA trade deadline gives the Milwaukee Bucks and other teams the opportunity to improve their rosters. Whether it’s by adding key depth at the end of the bench or bolstering their lineup with a marquee star player, a trade can completely turn the course of a franchise around.
Several Bucks news throughout the team’s history reported about several such trades. And while not all of them were franchise-defining deals, each played a key part in the history of the team as a whole.
January 31, 1969
The first deadline move from the Bucks came when the team traded starting small forward John Hetzel to the Cincinnati Royals for center Zaid Abdul-Aziz.
February 1, 1971
The Bucks sent rookie forward Gary Freeman and a 1971 second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for small forward McCoy McLemore.
February 4, 1980
Milwaukee traded center and former No. 1 overall pick Kent Benson and a 1980 first-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for All-Star big man Bob Lanier.
February 12, 1985
Looking to improve their team and get over the playoff hunt, the Bucks sent two second-round picks (1985 and 1987) to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for young small forward Paul Thompson.
February 25, 1988
The Bucks reached a deal with the Phoenix Suns for starting point guard Jay Humphries. In return, Milwaukee sent guard Craig Hodges and a 1988 second-round pick.
February 15, 1991
Milwaukee acquired veteran All-Star Dale Ellis from the Seattle Supersonics in exchange for an All-Star of their own in shooting guard Ricky Pierce.
February 25, 1993
The Bucks went after another former star when they traded for a veteran Orlando Woolridge. In return, Milwaukee sent defensive stopper Alvin Robertson to the Detroit Pistons.
February 24, 1994
After three and a half seasons with the team, Milwaukee shipped starting center Frank Brickowski to the Charlotte Hornets for a 34-year-old Mike Gminski and a 1997 first-round pick.
February 20, 1997
In more of a minor move, the Bucks struck a deal with the Toronto Raptors to trade scarcely-used shooting guard for fifth-year center Acie Earl.
March 11, 1999
The Bucks made several deals at the deadline of the 1999 lockout season. The first trade was a three-team deal in which Milwaukee sent Elliot Perry to the New Jersey Nets and Terrell Brandon to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In return, the Bucks acquired Paul Grant from Minnesota and the pair of Sam Cassell and Chris Gatling from the Nets.
The second deal of the day saw Milwaukee trade away big men Jerald Honeycutt and Tyrone Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers for Tim Thomas and Scott Williams.
February 20, 2003
The Bucks brought in a promising young player in Desmond Mason and a veteran Gary Payton from the SuperSonics. In exchange, the team traded away their star player in Ray Allen as well as Flip Murray and Kevin Ollie plus a 2003 first-round pick.
While Mason would have the best years of his career in Milwaukee, Payton would leave the team after just one half of a season. At the same time, Allen would develop into one of the league’s best scorers with the SuperSonics.
February 24, 2005
The Bucks made a pair of deals at the 2005 deadline firstly sending former No.2 overall pick Keith Van Horn to the Dallas Mavericks for Calvin Booth, Alan Henderson, and cash considerations.
For the second trade, the Houston Rockets landed both Zendon Hamilton and Mike James while former top-15 pick Reece Gaines and two second-round picks (2006 and 2007) headed to Milwaukee.
February 18, 2010
Another instance where the Bucks made multiple moves at the deadline, the team sent Francisco Elson and Jodie Meeks to the 76ers in exchange for 7-foot-2 center Primož Brezec, Royal Ivey, and a 2010 second-round pick.
For trade number two, the Bucks added John Salmons, a 2010 first-round pick swap and second-round picks in 2011 and 2012. In return, Milwaukee sent Joe Alexander and Hakim Warrick to Chicago.
February 21, 2013
In 2013, the Bucks traded away a promising young player in Tobias Harris as well as Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih to the Orlando Magic for a package that included Gustavo Ayon, Ish Smith, and most importantly, J.J. Redick.
February 20, 2014
Milwaukee acquired Jeff Adrien and point guard Ramon Sessions from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal.
Originally drafted by the Bucks back in 2007, Sessions would average a career-best 15.8 points per game in his 28-game second stint with the team.
February 19, 2015
In an attempt to surround budding young talent such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, and Khris Middleton with talent, the Bucks went out and pulled the trigger on acquiring reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams from the 76ers.
As a part of the three-team trade, the Bucks sent guards Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall to the Phoenix Suns while also acquiring Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee from Phoenix.
February 23, 2017
Once seen as one of the best young big men in the NBA, former All-Star Roy Hibbert‘s career had fallen hard by 2017. Still, the Bucks acquired the 7-foot-2 center from the Denver Nuggets for the cheap price of a 2019 second-round pick.
February 7, 2019
The most recent deadline deal made by Milwaukee, the team acquired floor-spacing forward Nikola Mirotić from the New Orleans Pelicans. Another three-team deal, the Bucks had to trade away Jason Smith and four second-round draft picks (2019, 2020, 2020 and 2021) to New Orleans while also shipping once super promising prospect, Thon Maker to the Pistons.