MARCH 15: The Bucks have officially signed Leonard for the rest of the season, the team confirmed in a press release on Tuesday night.
It’s a minimum-salary deal, per Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Leonard will earn $409,916, while the Bucks will take on a cap hit of $284,911. However, the actual cost of the signing will exceed $1MM, according to Owczarski, due to the fact that team salary is well over the luxury tax line.
Leonard said on Tuesday that he’s “connected really well across the whole organization” since arriving in Milwaukee on his first 10-day deal and is grateful to the Bucks for bringing him aboard.
“I texted (general manager) Jon (Horst). I’m hoping to talk to (team governor) Marc (Lasry) at some point at length, or a little bit more intimately I guess, to say thank you,” Leonard said, per Owczarski. “They changed my life. They really did. This is going to be hard for me not to get emotional right now. It’s honestly hard to describe what this feeling feels like.”
MARCH 14: The Bucks are signing center Meyers Leonard for the remainder of the season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.
Milwaukee had to make a decision whether to offer Leonard a standard contract or let him go, since his second 10-day contract has expired. In five appearances thus far, Leonard is averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.
Prior to joining the Bucks, Leonard hadn’t played since the 2020/21 season.
A combination of personal controversy and ankle and shoulder surgery recoveries kept him sidelined in the intervening seasons. Leonard was flipped from the Heat to the Thunder after using an antisemitic slur during a video game live stream. Oklahoma City subsequently released him.
The seven-foot Leonard, 31, provides big man depth for a club with Brook Lopez starting in the middle and Bobby Portis backing him up on most nights.
11 thoughts on “Meyers Leonard Signs Rest-Of-Season Deal With Bucks”
Milwaukee vs. Denver for the title seems inevitable. The two best players in the world, Giannis and Jokic, slugging it out for the NBA title, and the title of best player in the world. Wow!
It’s definitely not inevitable.
Dana, all you NBA writers need to give Meyers Leonard a break on that damn anti-semitic stuff and let him have a reasonable rest of his NBA career as he earns it.
What are you talking about? His antisemitic slur is a fact, not opinion. And frankly it’s one of the only things interesting about this guy so like it or not it’s going to come up when he is reported on.
The fact that you are reading any sort of bias from the above paragraph is more a reflection on you than Dana. And once Meyers Leonard earns his career as a 3rd string big back we can all sing his praises until the oil runs out.
Both are fair points, but it’s not like they went out of their way to mention Devonte’ Grahams DWI in the Pelicans article earlier today.
Just because you think the subway should only cost a nickel doesn’t mean you don’t still have to pay 2.75. He screwed up, and as long as people care it’s still relevant to his story.
But they don’t point out when other guys screw up
If Devonte’ Graham had been out of the league for two years after his DWI, I imagine it’s something we’d mention when he next signed a full-season contract.
I believe Leonard’s contrition and the work he’s done since that incident have been genuine, but it’s still important context when explaining the gap in his résumé.
I don’t know Luke. I thought the Kyrie Irving saga taught us that the league doesn’t actually care too much about casual uninformed antisemitism. If Leonard was equal to Irving in talent, his apology would have been deemed sufficient and he’d have maybe missed a week of basketball and continued his career without a link to his mistakes being posted on every article written about him.
What he said wasn’t cool, but I believe his apology was sincere. (Why a person would use a term that they know is derogatory without knowing what it means or who it is intended to offend is another conversation… ) but the dude missed two years because of injuries and his skill level. The gotcha TMZ journalism gets old, like we don’t need an hourly update on Ja. He’s figuring it out. People make mistakes. Otherwise, awesome site and keep up the good work.
Tell me you don’t think antisemitism is a problem without telling me you don’t think antisemitism is a problem.
They absolutely need to give Meyers Leonard a break. Spend some time with him. I have known Meyers since he was a sophomore at Robinson High School in Illinois. Good kid. He played on the EYBL circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire out of Chicago. No racist would do that.