Today at 5pm Central was the deadline for teams to sign eligible players to rookie contract extensions. The Bucks have two such players in Grayson Allen and Donte DiVincenzo, and GM Jon Horst swooped in just before the buzzer to lock the former up:
Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen has agreed on a two-year, $20 million rookie extension, his agent Mitch Nathan of @CAA_Basketball tells ESPN. Allen arrived with the defending champions in a trade this summer. He was the 21st pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 18, 2021
Allen was acquired from the Grizzles in early August for Sam Merrill and two future second-round picks in what amounted to a bit of a salary dump. With many promising players on rookie contracts, Memphis was facing tough decisions on whom to keep around. They elected to send out their most frequent starter at shooting guard to a team needing backcourt help with Donte DiVincenzo out and lacking a return timetable after offseason ankle surgery.
Now with his third team in four NBA seasons, Allen is coming off a career year in Memphis with 10.6 PPG on .418/.391/.868 shooting. As many expected, he’s been a part of the Bucks’ starting lineup this preseason and figures to remain there for the foreseeable future. In five preseason appearances, he averaged 9.4 PPG on .447/.423/1.000 shooting in 21 MPG.
As for DiVincenzo, not only is his comeback from a foot injury in the first round last spring murky, so too is his future with the Bucks. Barring some late-breaking news after the now-passed deadline, DiVincenzo—drafted 4 picks after Allen in 2018—will hit restricted free agency this summer. Just under one year ago, the Bucks attempted to include him in a sign-and-trade to Sacramento for Bogdan Bogdanovic. If today’s news is any indication, he may not be held in any higher esteem today than last November, especially after missing nearly all of the Bucks’ title run.
Contract details have yet to be reported, but if we assume the $10m average annual value to be Allen’s salary in each year of the extension, Milwaukee will have $155.5m committed to nine players in the 2022–23 season and $133.7m to four the following year. The luxury tax is estimated at $145m and $152.3m in those years, respectively.
As a Badger alum who will probably never be over the 2015 NCAA Championship Game, I started coming around on Allen last season. He appears to have matured a lot as a person and I’m looking forward to him on this team since he seems to be such a great fit on paper (and based on the preseason). For those of you still skeptical (I understand your concern!), I recommend his appearance on J.J. Redick’s podcast last year.