Bucks Trade for Nikola Mirotic Makes East's Top Squad Even Tougher for Sixers

The Sixers aren't the only team in the East making moves.

The Bucks on Thursday added Nikola Mirotic in a deal with Pelicans, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Milwaukee will send Jason Smith and Stanley Johnson - who was just acquired Wednesday from the Pistons for Thon Maker - to New Orleans for the veteran power forward. Detroit is also involved in the deal and the Pelicans will reportedly receive multiple second-round picks as well.

This is an excellent move for the Bucks.

They're in constant search of shooters and scorers to surround Giannis Antetokounmpo. Mirotic is shooting 37 percent from three this season and is a capable post scorer, averaging 16.7 points a game. He's also averaging 8.3 rebounds. The Bucks are already the best scoring and rebounding team in the NBA. Milwaukee's starting five should vastly improve with Mirotic sliding into the four spot and guard Malcolm Brogdon likely becoming the team's sixth man.

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While the starting lineup of Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo, Mirotic and Brook Lopez still wouldn't be on par with the Sixers', it's certainly formidable. When you factor in Milwaukee's bench, which features incredibly useful players like D.J. Wilson, George Hill and former Sixer Ersan Ilyasova, this is a very strong and deep basketball team.

The competition at the top of the Eastern Conference is insane. The Bucks (40-13) hold the top spot while the Raptors (39-16), Celtics (35-19) and Sixers (34-20) all have ambitions of taking the East.

We still have time before the 3 p.m. deadline so all of these teams have a chance to make another move and try to stake their claim.

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