The ex-Arizona Wildcat joins a Milwaukee team that is in first place in the Eastern Conference, while both former lottery picks receive a much-needed change of scenery.
Pistons are finalizing a trade to send Stanley Johnson to Milwaukee for Thon Maker, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
Maker, the No. 10 overall pick in 2016, requested a trade from the Bucks so that he could have a more prominent role. The 7-foot-1 big man was only averaging 11.7 minutes per game in Milwaukee this season, five minutes fewer than he averaged last season.
“Over the past two seasons, Maker flashed occasional potential as a switchable big who could stroke it from deep, but fell out of (Mike) Budenholzer’s rotation as this season wore on,” wrote Adam Paris of BrewHoop.com. “Outside of a few brief glimpses, and Playoff Thon’s peculiar emergence as a difference maker, Maker never really capitalized on the “Future MVP” potential Kevin Garnett once espoused. A hard worker and good locker room guy by all accounts, Maker exits Milwaukee with career averages of 4.5 points, 2.6 boards and 0.6 blocks per game”
Johnson, the No. 8 overall pick in 2015, has spent four seasons with the Pistons without experiencing much success. In 267 games (64 starts) with Detroit, the former Mater Dei standout averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3.
“Johnson had already had a four-year audition and failed,” wrote Sean Corp of DetroitBadBoys.com. “His contract was up after this season, and Detroit did not seem interested in retaining him in restricted free agency. Getting a lottery pick with skills you are desperate for at a position of need for a player you were going to let walk anyway is a win for Detroit.”