As expected, the Milwaukee Bucks have extended a qualifying offer to third-year forward Luc Mbah a Moute, per the Bucks official twitter account and FSWisconsin's Paul Imig. Assuming we actually get to the free agency period this summer, the qualifying offer will allow the Bucks to match any offer from other teams who are interested in signing Mbah a Moute.
The details of the offer were not disclosed, but the collective bargaining agreement requires QOs for third year vets who earned the minimum in 10/11 to be offered at least a one-year deal of $1,091,000, equal to the fourth year veteran's minimum salary ($916,100) plus $175,000. Extending this minimum contract offer gives Milwaukee the right of first-refusal over any other team wishing to sign Mbah a Moute to an offer sheet. Offer sheets must be for at least 2 years in length. Were a team to sign Luc to such an offer sheet, the Bucks would have seven days to match the terms of the contract and maintain Luc for its duration.
Normally players would be able to sign offer sheets in early July, when the financial year ends for each team and the regular free-agency period begins, but the potential lockout is likely to complicate matters. As such, this move by the Bucks is mostly procedural, but it makes it more likely that Luc will remain in Milwaukee for at least one more season. If Mbah a Moute accepts a one-year contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent next year. Chris Douglas-Roberts is in the same situation as Mbah a Moute, but it's widely expected the Bucks will not make CD-R a QO, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Bucks have had a decidedly mixed experience with RFAs in the past. In 2009 Charlie Villanueva wasn't even offered a QO, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent and sign a $35 million deal with Detroit, while Ramon Sessions was made a qualifying offer but then spent much of the summer struggling to entice another team to sign him to an offer sheet. Eventually the Timberwolves signed Sessions to a four year, $16 million offer sheet, but the Bucks opted not to match with Luke Ridnour and Brandon Jennings already on board. Going back further, the Bucks (unwisely, in retrospect) opted to match the Heat's five year, $18 million offer sheet to Charlie Bell in 2007, while they also matched the Mavericks' four year, $12 million offer sheet to Michael Redd in 2002.