- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) - Looking to build on a surprising playoff season, Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd is confident the Bucks bolstered their roster through the draft and a key trade.

“We got better,” Kidd said Friday during a news conference at the Bucks’ practice facility in suburban Milwaukee.

The Bucks selected Rashad Vaughn, an 18-year-old who played at UNLV, with the 17th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night. Milwaukee also acquired veteran guard Greivis Vasquez from Toronto in exchange for the 46th pick, UCLA shooting guard Norman Powell, and a first-rounder in 2017.

“You talk about a competitor,” Kidd said of Vaughn, the Mountain West Freshman of the Year. “He’s young. There’s no pressure on him coming into this situation. He’s a great kid.”

Vaughn joins a youthful team that has rising stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo and last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Jabari Parker.

“One of the needs was to have someone who could shoot the ball straight,” Kidd said.

Vaughn, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is coming off a season-ending injury to his left knee after averaging 17.8 points in 23 games as a freshman for the Rebels. He shot 44 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range.

Vaughn had surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus and went about two months without basketball activity.

“It was a long journey,” Vaughn said. “But it all paid off. … I’m excited to come in and learn under coach Kidd. And off the court, I want to go fishing.”

Vasquez averaged 9.5 points and 3.7 assists in 82 regular-season games with Toronto last season.

The additions will leave the Bucks with 18 players under contract. Vasquez will be on an expiring contract this season but could fit into the Bucks long-term plans.

“As contracts expire, we think we are in a really good position with our environment that a guy that comes here is going to like it, enjoy it and he’s going to want to be a part of it,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said. “Greivis brings a lot of moxie to the court and our team.”

Kidd also likes Vasquez’s game, adding: “Vasquez can shoot from behind the arc, he can run a team, he can play the point and play off the ball.”

The Bucks also could look to sign a free-agent to further improve the roster, especially the front court.

The NBA free agency period opens Wednesday and re-signing Khris Middleton, a restricted free agent, is a top priority.

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