Milwaukee Bucks: Grading the interesting Grayson Allen trade

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Memphis Grizzlies: Grayson Allen
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Just as Milwaukee Bucks fans were ready to accept the roster for what it was, the front office made a surprise trade to keep everyone on their toes.

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks will be trading Sam Merrill and two future second round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Grayson Allen. The guard will be yet another solid rotational piece added by the Bucks this offseason, giving them yet another versatile piece to throw into the mix.

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Allen has been in the league for three years now, but is of course most known for his time in college with the Duke Blue Devils. The 25-year-old was drafted 21st overall by the Utah Jazz in 2018. For his career, he’s averaged 8.5 points on 38.1 percent 3 point shooting (4.1 attempts).

Merrill was selected with the 60th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He played in just 30 games for the Bucks, averaging a mere 7.8 minutes. In that short amount of playing time, Merrill did shoot 44.7 percent from three (1.6 attempts).

Allen should slot right into the main rotation and, when everyone is healthy, give the Bucks a capable 11 man rotation for the regular season. That’s without factoring in potential minutes for Thanasis Antetokounmpo (still unsigned) and Jordan Nwora.

What is the financial impact of the Grayson Allen trade for the Milwaukee Bucks?

The Bucks find themselves in a financial bind this offseason, but they managed to navigate this trade by utilizing some of the assets at their disposal.

Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the Bucks used their $4.9 million trade exception to acquire Allen, which was created after trading D.J. Augustin to the Houston Rockets. Additionally, Merrill’s contract was set to become fully guaranteed on August 8th, and the Bucks may have opted to waive him but instead get a rotation player via trade.

As for Allen, he is set to make $4.1 million in the final year of his contract this coming season. Since he is on a rookie deal, he can become a restricted free agent after this season. That means the Bucks can pay him any amount to retain him as well as match any potential offer sheet he may receive, but they will cross that bridge when the time comes next offseason.

Overall, the Bucks’ salary and luxury tax number jumps to $200 million, and their luxury tax penalty goes from $36 million to $44 million. This recent transaction and the impact it has financially is a little interesting after many (myself included) questioned ownership’s willingness to spend after letting P.J. Tucker walk.