Bucks trading for Grizzlies’ Grayson Allen, adding to luxury-tax liability

Grayson Allen in Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
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The Bucks, facing a rising luxury-tax bill, let P.J. Tucker leave for the Heat.

But Milwaukee will still add salary by trading for Grizzlies shooting guard Grayson Allen.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

It’s surprising Milwaukee will take Allen, who’s earning $4,054,695 on the final year of his rookie-scale contract. Sam Merrill has just a minimum salary.

This pushes the Bucks’ luxury-tax liability from about $32 million to about $41 million.

But this is also the type of trade a championship contender should make. Allen is a good 3-point shooter who hustles his way into a bit of an all-around game. He’ll fortify Milwaukee’s depth, especially while Donte DiVincenzo is sidelined.

Still, it’s worth wondering why the Bucks didn’t just re-sign Tucker, whose defensive versatility was essential to their championship run.

Milwaukee is also re-signing Bobby Portis and signing George Hill. Unless Tucker demanded more money from them than he’s getting in Miami, the Bucks could have re-signed Tucker and gotten only one of Portis/Hill/Allen and faced a roughly similar luxury-tax bill. That might have been a better path.

Allen (25), Portis (26) and even Hill (35) are younger than Tucker (36). Perhaps, Milwaukee feared Tucker falling off. But the defense he provided in the 2021 playoffs will be sorely missed.

Memphis has a surplus of options at shooting guard: Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, De'Anthony Melton, John Konchar and No. 10 pick Ziaire Williams. If they weren’t going to pay Allen – who’s eligible for a contract extension – the Grizzlies were better off moving him for picks that could be useful later.