Milwaukee Bucks: Spencer Hawes opts in to final year of contract

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Spencer Hawes has opted in to the final year of his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, and is slated to earn over $6 million next season.

The Milwaukee Bucks officially know where they stand heading into free agency later this week.

Following on from Greg Monroe‘s decision to opt in to the final year of his contract last Wednesday, fellow Bucks center Spencer Hawes has reportedly reached a decision to pick up the final year of his current deal too.

The news was first reported on Twitter by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Hawes arrived in Milwaukee prior to the trade deadline last year as a part of the deal that saw now Atlanta Hawk Miles Plumlee head to the Charlotte Hornets.

While Roy Hibbert — who also came over in that deal — was quickly flipped in a trade with the denver Nuggets, Hawes remained in Milwaukee and eventually managed to crack the rotation later in the season.

Hawes finished the year having played 19 regular season games with the Bucks, and averaging 4.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in nine minutes per game. He also shot 50.8 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from deep and 77.8 percent from the free thrown line.

While it would have seemed unlikely following a long line of DNP-CDs immediately after the trade, Hawes would play in three playoff games, averaging 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per game, with 40 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc.

The final year of Hawes’ contract will now see him earn a total of $6,021,175 in the upcoming season, before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Considering that Hawes did find a way to carve out some kind of niche for himself at the back of the rotation late in the season, that figure isn’t disastrous in and of itself.

Instead, the problems for Milwaukee come with the fact that an already crowded and expensive frontcourt may even be more crowded for next season.

While Michael Beasley may well depart from the power forward rotation in free agency, Milwaukee very much view 17th overall pick D.J. Wilson as a 4/5 combo. With Thon Maker, Greg Monroe, John Henson, and now potentially Wilson competing for minutes at center, Hawes may find opportunities limited.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: D.J. Wilson introduced to media in press conference

With the Bucks facing a cap squeeze, a big man trade would seem entirely possible in the coming weeks. John Henson would be the ideal candidate considering his own reduced role and longer current contract, but don’t be surprised if the Bucks also explore routes to move Hawes on too.