Nets general manager Sean Marks has shown a knack for stockpiling draft picks, and he added another second-round pick on Monday when he traded veteran backup center Tyler Zeller to the Bucks in a deal that also brings third-year guard Rashad Vaughn to the Nets. If the Bucks’ second-round pick falls between No. 48-60, as it currently does, it will go to Phoenix in 2018 as part of a previous deal for Eric Bledsoe and the Nets will get the Bucks’ second-round pick in 2020.
Most likely, the Nets will have to wait two years to collect the draft pick return for Zeller, who was signed as a free agent before this season and averaged 7.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 42 games, including 33 straight starts.
But Zeller became expendable when he lost the starting job to rookie Jarrett Allen, who was the No. 22 overall pick last June. The move assures Allen and Jahlil Okafor, who was acquired from Philadelphia in a trade on Dec. 7, of receiving the bulk of playing time at center for the Nets. Quincy Acy also figures into the mix at center, but he is listed as questionable with a sprained finger when the Nets face Houston Tuesday night at Barclays Center.
The 6-6 Vaughn, who was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, was included in the deal largely for salary-cap purposes. He is in the final year of a deal that pays him $1.89 million while Zeller makes $1.7 million this season and gets $1.9 million next season. Vaughn made 22 appearances for the Bucks this season, averaging 2.7 points in 7.9 minutes per game.
In other news on Monday, the Nets recalled guard Isaiah Whitehead from the Long Island Nets.