Report: Bucks and John Henson closing in on contract extension

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Greg Monroe, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks have a nice young core signed through at least next season.

They’d like to add John Henson to the list.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Milwaukee Bucks are in advanced negotiations toward a contract extension with promising big man John Henson, according to league sources.

Henson will make $2,943,221 next season. His extension would begin in 2016-17.

If Henson’s salary in the first year of his extension exceeds $7,358,052 (250% his previous salary), that would immediately cut into the Bucks’ 2016 cap room – a fact that the Bucks should strongly consider. There’s value in locking him up now: avoiding the risk of Henson signing a huge offer sheet as a restricted free agent, preventing him from accepting the qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017 and keeping him happy. But even after the signing Greg Monroe, Milwaukee projects to have plenty of cap space next summer as the salary cap skyrockets. It might make sense to wait, take advantage of Henson’s low cap hold and then re-sign him next summer.

Henson could make the same salary in either scenario. He’d just have to wait a year to officially sign.

Of course, that carries risk for Henson. He could gain security by putting the Bucks’ cap concerns at ease and taking less than his market value, which far eclipses $7,358,052. Maybe that tradeoff – increasing Henson’s cap hold next summer for long-term savings with him – would appease Milwaukee.

Henson is a good defender and excellent shot-blocker. He had to play a lot of center last season, but Monroe will allow him to slide to more power forward, where Henson’s and his thin frame won’t take quite as much of a pounding.

There’s good reason for the Bucks to keep him – just less so for them to do it through a contract extension rather than a re-signing. But there’s plenty of middle ground to find a reasonable extension.

Brandon Clarke bullies Ian Mahinmi with monster dunk (video)

Brandon Clarke
AP Photo/Brandon Dill
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How wild is it that the Grizzlies have two rookies who can dunk like this?

After Ja Morant threw down a jump-out-of-your-seat jam over Aron Baynes a few days ago, Brandon Clarke just made Ian Mahinmi — a good rim protector — look helpless in Memphis’ win over the Wizards yesterday.

Add Jaren Jackson Jr., and the Grizzlies are onto something with their young core.

Patty Mills hits game-winner in Spurs’ NBA-record fourth straight OT game (video)

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.

But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.

Popovich, via ESPN:

“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.

And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.

 

Report: Luka Doncic might return to Mavericks within a couple weeks

Luka Doncic
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.

Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.

Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.

Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.

But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.

Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe out two weeks due to right fibula avulsion fracture

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The Milwaukee Bucks keep right on rolling, they won their 18th straight on Saturday night, cruising past the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now they’re going to have to keep this winning streak going without point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe will miss at least two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture, the team announced Saturday. The injury happened Friday night in a win against Memphis.

An avulsion fracture is where a strain to ligament pulls a little bit of bone off where the two connect. It sounds worse than it is medically, and while it hurts rest is usually the only treatment needed.

Bledsoe is averaging 15 points and 5.7 assists per game for the Bucks, shooting 34.4 percent from three, playing solid defense, and providing another ball handler and shot creator next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee has been +4.1 points per 100 possessions this season with Bledsoe on the court.

George Hill, who has had a strong season for Milwaukee off the bench, will step into the starting role for now.

The injury comes at a rough time as the Buck hit a tougher part of the schedule this week, facing Dallas (which may be without Luka Doncic) and the Lakers on Thursday.