The wait is over, and guard Sterling Brown is officially a member of the Bucks. Milwaukee finalized its trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire the draft rights to the former SMU guard, who was the 46th overall selection, in exchange for cash considerations.
On Thursday the team announced the deal, which was agreed upon June 22, the night of the 2017 NBA Draft, but was still pending league approval. In a separate draft-night trade the Bucks made with the Clippers, they sold their own second-round pick, No. 48 overall, to Los Angeles, which got the rights to South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell.
Adding Brown, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound guard who played four seasons at SMU, bolsters the Bucks’ depth at guard. The versatile, veteran 22-year-old appeared in a school-record 136 games for the Mustangs, with 106 starts. He set the program mark for career wins (109) and was second all-time with a 45.1 3-point percentage.
Last season, as a senior, Brown was named to the All-AAC Second Team after averaging 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while making a conference-high 44.9 percent of his 3-pointers. In 2015-16, Brown shot an SMU-record 53.6 percent from 3-point range.
An excellent shooter with a polished, well-rounded offensive game and a high basketball IQ, the knock on Brown going into the draft was he didn’t have elite physical gifts. While he’s considered an above-average athlete overall, his lack of explosiveness, relatively slow first step and below-the-rim style kept him from being a first-round pick.
Still, he has potential as a useful 3-and-D wing player, with his prolific outside shooting ability and disruptive defensive length on the perimeter. He could certainly fill a need for the Bucks, who ranked in the league’s bottom third for 3-pointers made and attempted last year.
A native of Maywood, Ill., and the brother of former NBA player Shannon Brown, Sterling Brown faced current Milwaukee forward Jabari Parker’s high school team in the Illinois state basketball playoffs, losing in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Brown will be competing with the Bucks squad in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which begins tomorrow, along with first-round pick D.J. Wilson and eight other rookies, including former Wisconsin Badgers guard Bronson Koenig. Second-year players Thon Maker and Gary Payton II, as well as third-year guard Rashad Vaughn, are also set to participate.
Milwaukee is scheduled to open its Summer League campaign Friday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. CT against the entry from the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The game will be televised on ESPN2. For more coverage of the Bucks Summer League team, click here.
Later Thursday, the Bucks announced they'd also signed Wilson to a rookie scale contract.
The 6-foot-10 forward out of Michigan was selected by the Bucks with the 17th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Wilson averaged 11.0 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game as a junior in 2016-17, leading the Wolverines with 57 blocks and shooting 53.8 percent from the field, including a 37.3 percent mark from 3-point range.
The Sacramento native helped Michigan to a Big Ten Tournament championship and an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in 2017 after averaging a combined 15.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over seven games in both tournaments.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.