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Report: Pat Connaughton opting in with Bucks for just $5.7M

Bucks guard Pat Connaughton

BOSTON, MA - MAY 15: Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks plays defense against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 15, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

After agreeing to a two-year deal that wasn’t legal cap-wise with Pat Connaughton in 2020, the scrambling Bucks had to give him a three-year contract with a $5,728,393 player option. Though Connaughton got higher salaries in the first two seasons of the contract, the snafu might pay off for Milwaukee.

Because Connaughton is opting into that that below-market-value-looking salary.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

What a break for the Bucks. Connaughton probably could’ve gotten more as a free agent. The hustling guard has shown he can hold up deep in the playoffs with his defense and shooting.

Conscious of the luxury tax, Milwaukee might have once planned to use Connaughton’s roster slot on a minimum-salary player. But keeping a positive-value player like Connaughton is never a bad thing. The Bucks could always trade someone if the $5,728,393 he’s due is more than they budged for.

This is the second straight year Milwaukee kept a key reserve relatively cheaply. Bobby Portis re-signed for just the Non-Bird Exception last summer. He has a $4,564,980 player option to decide on within a week. We’ll see whether he gives the Bucks another discount. One way or another, he is expected to stay.