Milwaukee Bucks reportedly likely to stretch Spencer Hawes’ contract

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 04: Spencer Hawes
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 04: Spencer Hawes /

The Milwaukee Bucks, desperate to avoid the luxury tax, are reportedly set to use the stretch provision on Spencer Hawes‘ contract.

With the deadline for teams to use the stretch provision only a matter of hours away, reports are emerging that the Milwaukee Bucks may take this opportunity to steer clear of luxury tax concerns for the coming season.

Having opted in to the player option for the final year of his current contract, Spencer Hawes has long been identified as a potential candidate to be stretched, and according to David Aldridge of, it’s likely the Bucks will take that course of action in the coming hours.

The stretch provision allows teams to waive players while spreading out the cost that action will take in terms of immediate cap hit.

As outlined in Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ:

"“If the player is waived from July 1 to August 31, then his remaining salary is paid over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. For example, if the player is waived on August 1 with two seasons remaining on his contract at $10.2 million and $10.3 million, respectively, then his remaining salary is paid over five years (two seasons times two, plus one), in even amounts of $4.1 million per year.”"

In Spencer Hawes’ case this means that the $6,021,175 he’s owed for the final year of his current deal will be paid out by the Bucks as $2,007,058 per year for the next three seasons.

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If Hawes is stretched, the Bucks will have an open roster spot that they could decide to fill before the start of the season. A return for Jason Terry would seem like one plausible option for that spot, particularly seen as Milwaukee remains a little light on experienced guard cover. Another option could come in the form of any of the players who worked out for the team at their free agent mini-camp earlier this week.

The idea of getting rid of Hawes is unlikely to leave too many Bucks fans heartbroken, as in spite of bursts of productivity, he was a part of an overcrowded center corps that desperately needed to be thinned out.

At the same time, there can be an understandable element of disappointment that the Bucks chose to dip below the tax in a way that will continue to leave some mark on their already challenging cap sheet in the coming three seasons.

Cap space isn’t set to become any more plentiful in Milwaukee with Jabari Parker‘s next deal lurking just over the horizon, and as such, just over $2 million of dead money for the next three years is not insignificant. In fact, bundled with the $1.8 million per year owed to Larry Sanders through to the end of the 2021-22 season, the Bucks are left paying meaningful money for multiple players not to play for them.

Next: Win In 6 Podcast #144: Wisconsin Herd expansion draft reaction

If, and when, official confirmation comes as to Spencer Hawes’ departure, we’ll have more details and reaction here on site.