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.