Milwaukee Bucks: Reactions to not extending Donte DiVincenzo

Sep 27, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

All eyes were on the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the extension deadline today as decisions had to be made about their two players from the 2018 draft class.

Ultimately, they handed out just one contract extension, which went to Grayson Allen. Trading for Allen this past offseason, the Bucks are clearly high on the newcomer as they gave him a two-year deal worth $20 million before he even appears in a regular season game with the franchise. That looks to be a solid deal for both sides, but it seemingly guaranteed that the Bucks would not give Donte DiVincenzo an extension before the deadline. He indeed did not receive a new deal, and the former No. 17 overall pick will enter the 2021-22 season with the utmost uncertainty surrounding his future with the Bucks.

Thoughts and reactions to the Milwaukee Bucks not giving Donte DiVincenzo a contract extension

This news should not be too surprising. First off, DiVincenzo is not healthy at the moment after having undergone season-ending surgery back during Milwaukee’s playoff run. The Bucks would like to see the guard back in action before committing to him long-term. After all, this ankle injury was the second season-ending injury for DiVincenzo during his three NBA seasons with the Bucks, which could have caused some uneasiness in negotiations. There are some questions about just how well he can hold up, and handing him a massive raise with that in mind would have been a sizeable risk.

That injury to DiVincenzo is why the Bucks brought in Allen. With DiVincenzo likely to miss time to begin the season, Allen will slide into the starting shooting guard slot, where he should manage to carve out an established role for the team. If all goes according to plan for Allen, he would likely be the team’s long-term option at the two-guard spot, which clouds things for DiVincenzo as he aims to return at some point this coming season. Whenever that might be, he will likely come off the bench, seeing a reduced role compared to how important he was last season.

The writing was on the wall that this might happen when the Bucks traded for Allen, but it is now certain that DiVincenzo will enter the 2021-22 season without a new deal and that he will enter restricted free agency when the time comes. Although it seems like the Bucks are higher on Allen, that does not mean they are out on DiVincenzo entirely. This is a player that started all 66 of his games last season and put up career numbers in the process. They value what he brings to the table, but it is reasonable on their part to wait and see how he looks upon returning before dishing out a new deal. The guard should have plenty of motivation entering the new season due to all of the chatter surrounding him, with his future as a Buck at the forefront of his mind.

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Time will tell when DiVincenzo will return to the lineup, but he certainly has to have a big season in 2021-22 before his restricted free agency hits.