The Milwaukee Bucks put to bed any further speculation in regards to their lone vacant roster spot Tuesday night.
In a move that has since been made official by the Bucks themselves, the Bucks decided to convert Mamadi Diakite’s two-way contract into a standard NBA deal. While Diakite has played scattered minutes at the NBA level, his play while on assignment in the G League captured the alluring potential of the 24-year-old rangy big man.
As he told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who first broke the news of Diakite’s contract conversion, Diakite isn’t resting on his laurels after earning a standard deal and flashing with the Bucks throughout this 2020-21 season:
“I have more to prove, I have more to give to the team and I have more to show to the fans,” Diakite told the Journal Sentinel. “Them doing this shows me that they trust me in many ways, but I still have work to do. I’m someone who always got it out of the mud and I’ll keep fighting my way through that.”
Whether Diakite will get further opportunities to prove himself as an NBA-caliber player remains to be seen as the Bucks handle their 15 remaining games this season and go into their eventual playoff run with everything to prove. Still, Diakite has shown enough to potentially play a future role in Milwaukee.
So without further ado, let’s dig into some of the biggest questions that are worth asking after the Milwaukee Bucks converted Mamadi Diakite’s two-way contract.
Have the Milwaukee Bucks gone into the luxury tax by signing Mamadi Diakite?
The timing of Diakite’s signing was certainly curious to some Bucks fans, given the constraints they were facing in filling their open roster spot previously and being up against the luxury tax line.
Before signing Diakite, the Bucks were $737,439 away from entering the luxury tax and the likely bonuses included in Jrue Holiday’s contract, such as games and minutes played, loom over whether the Bucks will pay the tax for the first time since 2003.
As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype noted Wednesday, the Bucks using what was left of their midlevel exception would help them stay under the tax at $448,845 this season, given the prorated salary. And there’s also the extra year incentive that comes from signing such a deal that gives the Bucks more cost control with having Diakite under contract.
So while the answer right now is that signing Diakite doesn’t vault the Bucks over the tax right now, Holiday’s likely bonuses are still in play and can send the Bucks over the tax line if they go through.