Champion Bucks trade down, get two forwards late in second round

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks traded down in the second round of the NBA draft yesterday and selected a couple of frontcourt players in Sandro Mamukelashvili of Seton Hall and Georgios Kalaitzakis of Greece.

The Bucks made these moves a week after their parade that celebrated their first NBA title since 1971.

Milwaukee started the night with the 31st overall pick, the first selection of the second round. The Bucks selected six-foot-10 forward Isaiah Todd but traded his draft rights to the Indiana Pacers. Todd, who played for the NBA G League Ignite this past season, later got traded to Washington.

The Bucks got two of the last seven picks in this year’s draft – 54th and 60th – as well as two future second-round picks. Mamukelashvili went 54th. Kalaitzakis was taken with the 60th and final pick in the draft.

Mamukelashvili, a six-foot-11 forward, was the co-Big East player of the year last season. He ranked second in the Big East in scoring (17.5), fifth in rebounding (7.6) and 12th in assists (3.2).

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo holds up the MVP trophy during a parade for the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. PHOTO: AP

Kalaitzakis is a 6-7 forward who spent the 2020-21 season with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League. The 22-year-old averaged 2.6 points, one rebound and 8.2 minutes in 27 games in the Greek Basket League and EuroLeague.

Milwaukee traded its first-round pick to Houston when it acquired PJ Tucker in March, but the Bucks also received the Rockets’ second-round pick in that deal. That ended up being the 31st overall choice.

The Bucks exiting a draft without any first-round picks isn’t unusual.

They had the 24th overall pick last year and selected RJ Hampton but traded his draft rights as part of a four-team deal that enabled them to acquire Jrue Holiday, a key player in this year’s title run. The Bucks did end up with second-round selections Jordan Nwora and Sam Merrill that year.

Two years ago, the Bucks selected Kevin Porter Jr with the 30th overall pick but traded his draft rights and Tony Snell to Detroit for Jon Leuer, a move that enabled them to clear salary cap space. Porter eventually landed in Cleveland.

The Bucks haven’t made a first-round pick that they’ve kept since taking Donte DiVincenzo out of Villanova with the 17th overall selection in 2018.