When I said the Bucks were going "all in" this morning, I meant it. David Aldridge is reporting that the Bucks are close to finalizing a new contract with free agent John Salmons, one that would clearly signal the Bucks' intent of foregoing the chance at cap room next summer for a better chance of winning now.
The Bucks are on the verge of re-signing guard John Salmons, one of the top shooting guards available in free agency -- and thought to be on the move after opting out of his deal last month -- to a five-year, $39 million contract. The deal also includes $5 million in potential bonuses, according to a source, and two league sources say the Bucks have a buyout option for the fifth season.
Make no mistake, that's a lot of money for a 30-year-old swingman. But the deal becomes a lot more palatable if a) the buyout option is cheap and b) the $5 million in bonuses are included in the $39 million figure. Remember that Andrew Bogut's extension was initially reported at $72 million, but that included $12 million in unlikely bonuses.
Interestingly, Aldridge also writes that the Salmons and Gooden deals would preclude the Bucks from re-signing Luke Ridnour. I think they would still have some room under the luxury tax to bring back Ridnour if Salmons' deal isn't front-loaded, but I assume Aldridge isn't pulling that assertion out of thin air. And as I mentioned yesterday, front-loading Salmons' contract would make a fair bit of sense given his age and the Bucks' cap situation.