Two sub .500 teams with an interest in reversing their fortunes in a shortened season pulled off the first major NBA deal with the Thursday trade deadline looming.
According to ESPN sources, the Milwaukee Bucks have acquired star guard Monta Eliis, power forward Ekpe Udoh, and under-achieving big man Kwame Brown in exchange for injury-plagued center Andrew Bogut, and guard Stephen Jackson, who had fallen out of favor with head coach Scott Skiles.
The deal means the Warriors finally have a competent seven-footer -- something that has eluded the franchise for perhaps decades. Bogut has had his share of injuries in his career, and has averaged just 11.3 points per game in just 12 games this season.
The former No. 1 pick fractured his left ankle Jan. 25 against the Rockets, and it's unclear if he'll return for the final 27 games of the season. When healthy, Bogut has proven to be an effective big man in the paint.
Jackson returns to Oakland where he enjoyed two seasons of averaging better than 20 points per game. The swingman, who turns 34 next month, is getting paid over $9 million this season and has played since Feb. 19.
Ellis, who is averaging nearly 22 points per game, would now be part of formidable backcourt with Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee, though Jennings has been the subject of recent trade speculation.
There had been rumors that Ellis might be headed to Orlando, as Dwight Howard had reportedly expressed interest in playing with him.
Brown and Udoh, who have a combined salary of roughly $10 million, are expected to be bench players. Brown might miss the rest of the season with a chest injury.
Udoh is in his second NBA season, but has yet to live up to the expectations of being the sixth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. However, the athletic 24-year-old has received an increase of minutes since the start of February, and has two games in March where he's scored 17 and 14 points, and is a block-shot presence with his long wingspan.
The Bucks currently hold a slim advantage over the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East, while the Warriors are three games out of the eight spot in the West.