Bucks welcome Nuggets to Brew City

( - Two of the busiest teams on Thursday's trade deadline square off on Friday as the Denver Nuggets visit the Bradley Center to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks were involved in one of the more-surprising trades of Thursday afternoon. They sent guard Brandon Knight, a trendy pick for some to be an All-Star this season, to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Milwaukee got a nice haul in return, getting reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams from the Sixers and guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee from Phoenix.

"We're thrilled to add three talented young players in Michael, Tyler and Miles to our team," said Bucks general manager John Hammond. "Jason (Kidd) and his staff have an excellent track record of developing young talent, and we think this trade will accelerate our team's growth as we continue to build toward the future and our goal to put a championship-caliber team on the floor."

The Bucks have been one of the best stories of the 2014-15 campaign. They had the worst record in basketball last season, played well, then lost rookie Jabari Parker for the season with an ACL tear.

They've managed to not just stay afloat, but excel. Milwaukee won three straight and eight of its previous nine prior to the All-Star break and stand sixth in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for fifth and 7 1/2 games ahead of both the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat.

Denver was the most active team early Thursday. They sent guard Arron Afflalo and forward Alonzo Gee to the Portland Trail Blazers for Thomas Robinson, Victor Claver, Will Barton and a protected first-round pick through the lottery.

Then, the Nuggets discarded themselves of center JaVale McGee. He was packaged, along with an Oklahoma City Thunder protected first-rounder and the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum for the right to Cenk Akyol.

To round out the roster, Denver signed rookie forward Joffrey Lauvergne, a 6- foot-11, 23-year-old from France.

The Nuggets have been miserable. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center just before the All-Star break and the victory snapped a six- game losing streak.

Denver will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, then play five consecutive home contests.

The Nuggets have won eight in a row versus the Bucks, including four straight in Brew City. Milwaukee hasn't beaten Denver at home since Nov. 11, 2009.