NBA trade deadline: Pelicans send Nikola Mirotic to Bucks for Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith and picks

The Pelicans made a move ahead of Thursday's deadline, trading forward Nikola Mirotic to the Bucks for Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith and four second-round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and The New York Times' Marc Stein. Per Jake Fischer, two of those picks are the Wizards' 2020 and 2021 second-round picks.

Mirotic, who the Pelicans traded for on Feb. 1 a year ago, was a key component in their sweep of the Trail Blazers in last year's playoffs, but injuries have hampered his 2018-19 season.

The Bucks gain a very viable stretch-four to play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo as they continue to make a push for the playoffs and, ultimately, the conference finals in the East. Mirotic is shooting nearly 37 percent from beyond the arc this season, averaging 16.7 points per game in the crowded Pelicans frontcourt.

It's the second time in as many days Johnson has been traded, with the Bucks trading Thon Maker to the Pistons to acquire the forward. Johnson has averaged 20 minutes per game this season, but with the Pelicans trading Wesley Johnson on Wednesday night, it's another player they can put on the wing while they try to figure out what to do with the injured E'Twaun Moore.

Mirotic tweeted a puzzle piece on Wednesday, and when New Orleans reporter Fletcher Mackel asked if it was about a trade, Mirotic said it was nothing.

The Bucks are already second in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game, trailing on the Rockets at 13.3. Mirotic, who has never met a shot he's afraid to take, should only add to that total. He joins a frontcourt that includes a pair of excellent shooting forwards in Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton, so he should fit in just fine.

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