As the Milwaukee Bucks offseason continues to take (official) shape, the team announced that George Hill would be returning to the team via Twitter. In the words of Hill, he was certainly “wanted” back by Horst and company.
We’ve known this for awhile now thanks to Shams, who reported that Hill would be back on a 3-year, $29M deal. As Matt Velazquez reported, the Bucks aren’t entirely hamstrung all three years of the deal for the 33-year old, as the final year has a partial guarantee.
Per source, George Hill's 3-year, $29 million deal has a partial guarantee for the third year.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) July 1, 2019
In order to sign Hill, the Bucks needed to free up some cap space, leading to the inevitable waiving and stretching of Jon Leuer’s contract, which will be on the books for around $3.2 million the next three seasons. I’m generally in favor of not stretching guys unless absolutely necessary, and this now marks the second time Horst has stretched a big man after doing the same to Spencer Hawes back in 2017. Hawes $2.0M will come off the books after this year.
Another unfortunate side effect of the signing’s timing was that Milwaukee effectively erased the ~$10M trade exception that would’ve been created by the Malcolm Brogdon sign-and-trade. As Albert Nahmad, cap aficianado, laid out on Twitter, this predicament probably could’ve been avoided had the Bucks been able to haggle a little further:
MIL had full RFA Bird rights to Brogdon with a $3.0M QO, which they could’ve reduced to a $1.6M UFA cap hold by rescinding it. If they could’ve reduced payout to Hill ($9.1M) and/or Lopez ($12.1M) by $720K, they could’ve then exceeded the cap to S&T Brogdon and kept the $10M TPE.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 10, 2019
As long as MIL withdrew the qualifying offer by July 13, they would’ve retained Malcom Brogdon’s full Bird rights as an unrestricted free agent, at the cost of a $1.6M cap hold.https://t.co/r3rwM8mU8m— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 10, 2019
I would recommend going to Albert’s full twitter page for the eccentricities of the deal and his insight as well. Horst was trotted out as a cap expert among his bona fides after his hiring if I recall correctly, so one would’ve thought he potentially could’ve known about missing this scenario. Who knows though, maybe they genuinely didn’t think of it? If that’s the case, it’s a little more damning, as financial flexibility for any team in the upper echelon of the league, like Milwaukee, is paramount.
I am not personally torn up over it, but we’ll have to see what Horst does with the assets he has in the cupboard now. This roster is, objectively, worse than last season with the departure of Brogdon. I’m still grading this offseason as incomplete for now, but there’s one less avenue available to Horst after this move. Let’s see how he handles it.