Few role players have meant as much to the Milwaukee Bucks‘ success during the Mike Budenholzer era as Pat Connaughton. Connaughton signed his first contract with the Bucks the same year the Bucks brought in Budenholzer as head coach, 2018. The two moves proved to be crucial to a run that culminated in a championship in 2021. It was reported by Shams Charania late Tuesday night that Pat Connaughton has agreed to a 3-year contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks that will take him through the 2025-26 season. Adrian Wojnarowski later reported the specifics as a 3-year deal worth $28.5 million with a player option attached.
Earlier this offseason Pat Connaughton somewhat surprisingly opted into his player option, paying him $5.7 million for the 2022-23 season, a bargain for the Bucks and a move that led to the thought that Connaughton and the Bucks would work out a bigger deal next offseason. Clearly the two sides had strong mutual interest showing in the short amount of time it took for Connaughton and the team to find terms that worked for both sides.
It doesn’t come as a major surprise the Bucks would want to keep Connaughton around, given that his role has increased nearly every season with the team, starting from a depth piece known for his hustle, to the Bucks’ sixth man to starting games when other players miss games.
On the court Pat Connaughton has proved himself crucial to the Bucks success and it showed in big ways during the championship run in 2021, during game 4 of the seven game series with the Brooklyn Nets Connaughton recorded eight points, two rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks. During the 2021 NBA Finals Connaughton averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the 3-point line, no doubt that he was crucial to the Bucks raising the Larry O’Brien trophy last summer.
In the 2021-22 season Pat Connaughton operated as the Milwaukee Bucks sixth man after Bobby Portis slid into the starting lineup for the injured Brook Lopez. In 26.0 minutes per game (a career high in minutes) Connaughton averaged 9.9 points (also a career high) and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 39.5 percent on 3-point shots. That clip of 3-point shooting is also his highest as a Milwaukee Buck and arguably his best 3-point shooting season of his career if you ignore his second season when he played just eight minutes per game in Portland. Connaughton has raised his 3-point percentage every season since joining the Bucks.
Connaughton, despite missing some games with a hand injury, started 19 games for the Bucks (another career high), showing the trust that Mike Budenholzer has in him.
No doubt that Pat Connaughton has earned himself a place on the Bucks roster as one of the more underrated players on the team, but Connaughton has also carved out a place to call home in Milwaukee. Not only has Connaughton befriended Giannis Antetokounmpo and others off the court, but Connaughton has done work for the community as well. Connaughton has worked on building apartment buildings in Milwaukee. In addition to that, he also started the Pat Connaughton Foundation to help teach kids life lessons through sports.
All things considered, it is safe to say that all Milwaukee Bucks fans should be happy to hear Pat Connaughton is here to stay and is likely to retire as a Milwaukee Buck.
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