Bucks Lead

Can the Bucks Free Up Cap Space?

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After re-signing SG Tony Snell to a four-year, $46 million contract in the opening moments of free agency, the Milwaukee Bucks have been as quiet as can be.

The Bucks met with UFA PG Derrick Rose last week, and the former MVP expressed interest in signing with Milwaukee, but one huge problem stands in Milwaukee’s way of signing any free agents.

Money.

The Bucks have very minimal money to work with, being over the cap and very close to the luxury tax line. Greg Monroe ($17.88M), John Henson ($11.42M), and Mirza Teletovic ($10.5M), have all been involved in Bucks trade rumors, but remain on the roster. These three alongside Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo make up Milwaukee’s top-five payroll.

Greg Monroe, Milwaukee’s big free agency signing back in 2015, has had an up-and-down two seasons with the team. Monroe appeared in all but one game in the 2016-17 season, averaging 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 22.5 minutes (career-low) per game off the bench. Monroe received the bulk of the minutes at the center position, but as Thon Maker continues to improve, the moose may see even less floor time.

John Henson averaged 6.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks over 19.4 minutes per game this past season. Henson recorded 39 starts in 58 games, but did not see the floor in the latter portions of the season, including the playoffs. Henson has consistently proven he can be a shot blocker, but lacks an offensive presence. With Thon Maker, Greg Monroe, and Spencer Hawes all fighting for minutes alongside Henson, it may be best for Milwaukee to find a trade suitor.

Trade Scenario: Milwaukee sends John Henson to Brooklyn for a future second-round pick

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The Nets have been rebuilding for quite some time, and they hit the reset button on that just a few weeks ago when they traded away franchise player Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. Brooklyn at one point had the most cap space out of any NBA team, and they still have enough to take on John Henson’s contract. Brooklyn recently acquired SF DeMarre Carroll and two future draft picks in exchange for backup center Justin Hamilton. With both Hamilton and Lopez no longer on the team, Henson would only have to compete with Mozgov for floor time. This change of scenery could be career changing for the 26-year-old, and would give the Bucks room to add shooting depth.

Brand new General Manager Jon Horst will eventually have to decide what he wants to do with free agents Michael Beasley and Jason Terry. After drafting forward DJ Wilson 17th overall, playing time for Michael Beasley would be scarce should he somehow re-sign. Jason Terry has publicly said he hopes to re-sign with Milwaukee, but that decision won’t likely come until August at the earliest.

 

About Eric Peterson

Eric is currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Follow Eric on twitter @eric_peterson20

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