The Bucks have opened rookie scale extension talks with point guard Brandon Knight, GM John Hammond says, and there’s little doubt that the team would like to come to a long-term deal, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Still, it’s unclear just how much the Bucks would be willing to pay the former eighth overall pick who led the team in scoring last season. Milwaukee has until October 31st to sign the Arn Tellem client to an extension, or he’ll be set for restricted free agency next summer.
Knight saw his scoring average jump to 17.9 points per game this past season after notching just 13.3 PPG in his final year with Detroit, which sent him to Milwaukee in the 2013 trade involving Brandon Jennings. Still, that surge in points was in part because Knight bore a heavier load on offense, attempting 15.2 shots a night, 4.3 more than any other Buck. The 6’3″ former University of Kentucky Wildcat was nonetheless significantly more efficient, with a 16.5 PER, and he set a career high with 4.9 assists per game while his turnovers decreased slightly. The 22-year-old picked up an endorsement from new coach Jason Kidd.
“He’s a piece we want here,” Kidd said, as Gardner notes. “You talk about his work ethic, the way he approaches the game, he’s a professional, on and off the court.”
Milwaukee already has about $42MM in commitments for next season, not counting close to $5MM in team options for Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson that the team will almost assuredly pick up, and a $4.25MM player option that Jared Dudley seems likely to exercise, too. Even a reasonably discounted extension for Knight would probably knock the Bucks out of any sort of max-level cap room, and I listed him among those I believed unlikely to receive an extension when I examined the market in late July. Still, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris are also on that list of longshots, and the Suns signed both to extensions this week.