According to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Milwaukee Bucks have reached agreement on a contract extension with backup center John Henson. Woj is reporting the deal at four-years, $44 million.
The deal will keep Henson, a 2012 first-round pick, in Milwaukee through the 2019-20 season. He’ll play out the 2015-16 campaign on his rookie deal ($2.9 million this season) before the extension kicks in prior to next season.
The addition of Greg Monroe this offseason left many wondering whether Henson was considered a part of the franchise’s future. While Henson has been productive through three seasons, mostly off the bench, he’s yet to demonstrate polish on the offensive end and remains somewhat of a rebounding/rim-protecting specialist. His skill set is essentially the opposite of Monroe’s. But given that both struggle to stretch the floor, the two aren’t likely to play significant minutes together. More than 97% of Henson’s field goal attempts last season came from within 10 feet, per Basketball-Reference, and he posted a career-best shooting percentage of 56.6.
Monroe played most of his minutes at power forward alongside Andre Drummond in Detroit, but he’ll to transition back to the center spot full-time with the Bucks. Henson should see most of the backup minutes – and he and Monroe will play together in certain situations – but as long as Monroe is in Milwaukee, Henson will likely be relegated to a bench role.
Monroe’s contract binds him to the Bucks for only two seasons, however. He’ll be eligible for free agency again in the summer of 2017, at which point he’ll have the choice to exercise a player option for the 2017-18 season. Extending Henson’s deal offers the Bucks some long-term insurance in case Monroe opts out after two seasons.
Monroe’s future aside, Henson is now locked in as a key piece of the franchise’s young core. He joins Khris Middleton, who signed a five-year, $70 million deal this summer, as well as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, both of whom figure to be locked up on long-term extensions once eligible.
The $44 million price tag will probably raise some eyebrows, but with the cap set to skyrocket next summer, $11 million per year seems fairly reasonable and stacks up nicely against many deals inked this offseason. The Celtics gave Amir Johnson, who is four years older than Henson, $12 million per year (albeit on a two-year deal), while Tristan Thompson is reportedly seeking $18 million per year from the Cavaliers.